Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cody Goloubef Signing Official


Press release from the Columbus Blue Jackets puts the official stamp on it: Gold Medal Goloubef is on his way to the pro ranks.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Cody Goloubef to a standard three-year entry level contract, General Manager Scott Howson announced Arpil 29. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Goloubef, 20, (pronounced GO-luh-behf) registered three goals and 11 assists for 14 points, 64 penalty minutes and was +13 in 42 games during his junior season at the University of Wisconsin (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) in 2009-10. He ranked third among club defensemen in points and plus/minus rating and helped the Badgers reach the National Championship game.

"Cody comes from a very successful program at Wisconsin and we believe it is the right time for him to begin his professional career," Howson said.

A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Goloubef was the Blue Jackets' second pick, 37th overall, in the 2008 Entry Draft. He collected 12-25-37, 180 penalty minutes and a cumulative plus/minus rating of +18 in 118 career games with Wisconsin. He notched 0-1-1, eight penalty minutes and was +10 in six games at the 2009 World Junior Championships, helping Team Canada win the gold medal.

Deposits for 2010-11 Columbus Blue Jackets season tickets, as well as 10- and 20-game plans, are being accepted now. For information, call (800) NHL-COLS or visit BlueJackets.com.


We'll put up Detroit's press release up when (I'm not bothering with "if") Brendan Smith's signing goes public.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sources: Goloubef, Smith Leaving Early; UPDATE **Goloubef Confirms He's Signing**

*****THURSDAY UPDATE-Just spoke to Cody Goloubef and he has confirmed to me that he is indeed leaving.

In what should come as a shock to no one around these parts, sources have confirmed to me that junior defensemen Cody Goloubef and Brendan Smith will forgo their final season of eligibility at the University of Wisconsin and turn pro.

Goloubef, a native of Oakville, Ontario has been a solid defenseman since he stepped on campus as a 17 year old freshman three years ago. The 2008 second round draft selection of the Columbus Blue Jackets (37th overall) was as calm and collected on the ice as they come.

Overshadowed for much of his time with Wisconsin, Goloubef was selected for the 2009 Canada World Junior team which went on to win the gold medal in Ottawa. Goloubef amassed 37 points in 118 career games during his three seasons in Madison. Known more for his ability to keep the puck out of the net than put it in, Goloubef will surely be missed.

Smith, a native of Mimico, Ontario has turned himself into an elite offensive defenseman. The 2007 first round selection of the Detroit Red Wings (27th overall) came to Madison as a bit of a liability and left school as the WCHA defenseman of the year.

The accolades poured in for Smith this season as he burst onto the map by putting up 52 points in 42 games for the Badgers. Smith was especially lethal on the power play netting 11 tallies on the man advantage, second only to Hobey Baker winner Blake Geoffrion. Speaking of the Hobey Baker, Smith was announced as a top 10 finalist for the award after his fine season. He was also named First Team All-WCHA and was a First Team All-American.

Both players will be surely missed by the Wisconsin hockey program. Both players have made big improvements since coming to Wisconsin, and both will some day play in the NHL, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Photo Credit: RedHeat15

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Frankie Simonelli, Team USA U18's Win GOLD

Back. To. Back.

The United States Under 18 team dispatched Sweden 3-1 on Friday to claim it's second straight Under 18 Gold Medal in Belarus. The United States squad, which features 2010 Wisconsin defensive recruit Frankie Simonelli lost only once during it's trip to Europe, an opening game loss to eventual silver medalist Sweden.

The United States got solid play in the nets from future first round NHL draft pick Jack Campbell. Campbell allowed just 5 goals against in his 6 games played. He stopped 33 shots in the Gold Medal game. Campbell stopped 96.5% of his shots en route to being named the best goalkeeper of the tournament by the IIHF.

Simonelli, who is expected to immediately step into the Wisconsin lineup next season, played in all seven games for the red, white, and blue. He did not record a point in Belarus, but reports are that he played well during the tournament. Simeonlli had 5 shots on goal and spent two minutes in the penalty box. He was even for the tournament.

Like I mentioned in the opening, this is the second straight gold for the United States in this tournament. As Chris Dilks talks about in his game recap, it's hard to argue with the success of the NTDP in producing results at the international level. The United States has metaled in every tournament since 2004 and has grabbed four gold medals in the past six seasons including going back to back twice. In the past 10 seasons, the United States has won 5 golds, two silvers, and a bronze.

Photo Credit: Mark Bialek for AnnArbor.com

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Osiecki Takes Head Coaching Job At Ohio State

Wisconsin took it's first huge hit off the off season (with respect to Kevin Patrick) on Saturday afternoon when it was announced that top Wisconsin Assistant Coach Mark Osiecki would be taking over the head coaching duties at The Ohio State University. Osiecki replaces John Markell, who's contract wasn't renewed.

Coach Osiecki has been apart of the Badger hockey program for the last six seasons. He is the recruiting coordinator and in charge of coaching our world renowned defensive core. Osiecki was a part of two Frozen Four teams while at Wisconsin including one National Championship team in 2006. Osiecki also won a National Championship as an assistant coach at North Dakota in 1997. Osiecki has head coaching experience, as he was the head coach and General Manager for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL for seven seasons.

As a player, Osiecki won a National Championship with Wisconsin in 1990. He was a three year letter winner with the Badgers before taking his game to the National Hockey League. Osiecki spent six seasons in the NHL with four teams before an injury ended his career.

Osiecki also has experience internationally. The 1994 graduate from the University of Wisconsin was an assistant with Team USA at the 1999 and 2000 World U18 Championships where the United States won silver medals. Osiecki also recently won a gold medal with the USA U-20 squad at the World Junior Championships in Regina.

The loss of Osiecki puts the Badgers in an unusual situation, as now they need to replace both assistant coaches. Last month it was announced that the other Badgers assistant coach, Kevin Patrick would be taking the head coaching job with the new expansion USHL franchise in Muskegon, MI.

As a Wisconsin hockey fan, the loss of Mark Osiecki scares the hell out of me. We all knew that this day would come eventually but I don't think any of us prepped ourselves enough for this. Coach Osiecki is THE top assistant coach in the country and it's going to be extremely tough to fill his shoes. He was a the point where his name alone was good enough to land elite defensive recruits who wanted to learn from him.

I would personally like to congratulate coach OZ and like to thank him for his time in Madison. He's been absolutely OUTSTANDING since he's been on our coaching staff. He will be tough to replace.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Men’s Schedule is “starting” to come together

Wisconsin is usually the LAST WCHA school to put out a schedule; I’m guessing we won’t see the “official” schedule until mid May at the earliest. That doesn’t mean that parts of the schedule can’t be pulled together as other schools release their schedule.

Over at USCHO, there is a thread talking about the 2010/11 WCHA schedule. About half the schools have their schedules out, so a large part of the UW schedule can be put together. In that thread, USCHO user “Yager” has been doing the heavy lifting of putting together the schedule for all 12 WCHA teams for next season. In case you forgot, Bemidji and Nebraska-Omaha join the ranks next season.

Before getting to the schedule so far, let’s quick discuss how the schedule is going to work moving forward w/ 12 teams. Each team is paired w/ another; it has always been this way. The pairings don’t change (UW/minnesota, Duluth/Tech, Denver/CC, St Cloud/NoDak, UAA/Mankato), but now Bemidji and Omaha will be pair. Each year, each pair will be paired w/ another pair (yes I wrote that on purpose) and then the pairs will rotate through on a five year cycle. This year Wisconsin and minnesota are paired w/ Duluth and Tech, and therefore besides playing the gophers in two series (this will continue to happen EVERY season) they will play two series against both Duluth and Tech. The Badgers will play every other team once, either home or away, and you can check this link out to see all the teams schedule breakdown. According to the Sioux blog, in 2011/12 UW/um will be paired w/ St Cloud and North Dakota, having home and away series against each of those teams. It also appears that the WCHA has split up CC and Denver so that each school plays one home and one away against each school (unless paired w/ them), so there will always be a road trip to Colorado each season for Badger fans who are interested.

The first rough draft of the schedule:

10/08-09 – The IceBreaker in St. Louis (Notre Lame, BU and Holy Cross as opponents)
10/15-16 – Open
10/22-23 - @ Denver
10/29-30 – Open
11/05-06 - @ minnesota
11/12-13 – North Dakota
11/19-20 – Duluth
11/26-27 – College Hockey Showcase (appears to still be going on!!!)
12/03-04 – Open
12/10-11 – Bemidji
12/17-18 – Open (doubt a series will happen here because of Finals)
Christmas!!!
12-29 – 01/02 – Open (no more Showdown)
01/07-08 – Open
01/14-15 - @ Duluth (first full series at the new DECC)
01/21-22 - Open
01/28-29 – Open
02/04-05 – Open
2/11-12 - @ Nebraska-Omaha
2/18-19 – minnesota
2/25-26 – @ St Cloud
3/04-05 – CC
3/11-13 - WCHA Playoffs
3/17-19 - WCHA Final Five
3/25-27 - NCAA Regionals
4/07 & 09 - Frozen Four @ the X

There are still quite a few gaps in there, WCHA series left to add to the schedule:

@ Tech
vs Tech
@ UAA
vs Mankato

All the tough games must have been scheduled first, eh?

There are at least TWO non-conference series to add as well. I think the Badgers get TWO exemptions this coming season, one for traveling to Alaska and one for the IceBreaker. Therefore they get 38 games? Anyone out there know if I’m right or wrong on that? Here are the non-con series I think the Badgers will have based on past info I read.

@ BC/@UNH (one game each)
vs UMASS-Lowell
vs Alabama Huntsville

I remember reading at the time of the news of the demise of the Showdown that Lowell and UAH will be coming to the Kohl Center next season, and the Badgers still “owe” a trip to the east coast against BC and UNH, but I’m not sure if that is next season or in 11/12. Also very excited to see that the Showcase might be on for at least one more season, especially since it will be at the Kohl Center.

Hatchet Joe, get the truck warmed up, time to head to St Louis and get ready for the IceBreaker!

Anyway, enjoy, we’ll keep updating this as more information is filled in and obviously post the official schedule once it is released by UW.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Michigan's Big Chill, And UW In The Cold...

Don't get me wrong: I went to and greatly enjoyed the Culver's Camp Randall Hockey Classic.

I didn't mind the cold (hey... we live in Wisconsin, either deal with the cold or stop whining...). I didn't mind being far away from the field. Shoot I didn't even mind having to listen Jump Around (and believe me, that's no small feat).

As far as I'm concerned, it got 55,000 fans to come see a hockey game. It featured a quality, non-conference win over a major program. It gave us some of the most epic "We Want More" chants I've ever heard.



And I had a lot of fun, and UW probably made some good money on the deal. All and all, we should all consider it successful. However, as time passes, we'll be able to put it in proper perspective. At this point, for instance, we also know that it wasn't as successful as it could have been, and that the event fell short of one of its original goals, to sell out Camp Randall and break the record for a crowd at a hockey game.

Now, Michigan and Michigan State are likely to take that record for good. The Big Chill is looking like it will be VERY successful.

http://host.madison.com/sports/college/hockey/article_590db066-4d77-11df-a587-001cc4c002e0.html?mode=story

So why will this succeed in Michigan at a level it didn't come close to here? Tough to say, really. I have a theory, that I go into at length in a comment that I made in the Madison.com piece. I won't go as into it here, but I will say that sometimes I'm amazed at how little advertising and TV coverage UW puts out for the hockey team. It's as if, to paraphrase USCHO poster "Buck 'em", that Barry and co. are happy that UW hockey draws 13-15,000 fans a night on mostly word of mouth and will just leave it at that. Sure seems like a poor way to try to draw 80,000 people to one game in particular.

I'm sure you could say that there's a lot more to it than that (hockey culture there versus here... more "football only" fans here than there... whatever you can think of). You could also say that this is all sour grapes, and I should be grateful for what we get (which is mostly true).

But I can't help but wonder what UW hockey would be like with a little more support from up top in the UW Athletic Dept. In today's media, you can't underestimate the power of being on TV more. Lord knows actually competing for national titles *ahem*6 > 1*cough* won't do it on its own.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Breaking News: McDonagh, Stepan Back Next Season?

Honestly, I'm handling this retiring thing like number 4, so I apologize for that. But the Badger men's hockey team held it's awards banquet today and we'll get to that in a little bit. The main point of focus in my mind? This little tidbit from UWBadgers.com

"Also of note are Wisconsin’s captains for the 2010-11 campaign. Defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who served as one of the team’s tri-captains this past season, will hold the duty by himself next season. Joining McDonagh in the leadership corps will be forward Derek Stepan, who will serve as assistant captain. Stepan finished this past season as the Badgers’ leading scorer, and also captained Team USA to a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship. A second assistant captain is expected to be named at a later time."

I would have to think that the Badger coaching staff would be a little bit careful handling a situation like this and they wouldn't go out and name a Captain and Alternate Captain without having a pretty strong indication whether or not they were going to be with the program next season.

This by no means is a guarantee that either Stepan or McDonagh will be back for sure, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. Getting Ryan McDonagh for four years and Derek Stepan for three would be fabulous.

As noted by Todd Milewski and Brad Elliott Schlossman, there has been an example where a player has been named a Captain and still gone pro early. Last season Boston University defenseman Brian Strait was announced and ended up signing with the Penguins. Although keep in mind that BU was coming off winning the National Title. Something to note though obviously.

Coach Osiecki finalist for OSU Position

Per CHN:

http://www.collegehockeynews.com/news/2010/04/21_ohiostate.php

Ohio State is completing interviews this week, and could name a coach as early as next week.

Ohio State is the last of three CCHA schools that had head coaching openings to name its choice. Western Michigan went with former Miami assistant Jeff Blashill, while Bowling Green subsequently went with Miami assistant Chris Bergeron.

Ohio State had been expected to attempt a run for a big name or at least current, experienced head coach. But whether by choice or because it was turned down, that appears not to be the case. Those interviewed include three current Division I assistants — Mark Osiecki of Wisconsin, Casey Jones of Cornell (an assistant at Ohio State under John Markell for 13 seasons before departing for his alma mater two years ago), and Boston College assistant Mike Cavanaugh.

Osiecki has head coaching experience in the USHL. Jones and Cavanaugh have not been head coaches before.


Coach Oz is a huge part of our recruiting, and is THE reason that we consistently turn out such a solid D-corps. Every time a Badger blueliner gets drafted, the NHL GM makes comments about how well defensemen develop at UW, and you know that has a huge benefit for recruiting.

We know Coach Oz might have his sights set higher, and certainly we will wish him the best if he chooses to become the OSU bench boss. But, for my own selfish reasons as a UW fan, I sure hope he can stick around, because he is a huge part of our program's success right now. I can only hope that Coach Eaves has his eye on a dynamite successor if Osiecki leaves.

Hockey In Wisconsin interviews 2011 recruit Jake McCabe

Over at Hockey in Wisconsin, Dplaya is taking on the ambitious endeavor of interviewing former Wisconsin high school hockey players who've taken their games to the next level, whether that is the USHL/NAHL or the NCAA's. Hopefully this is a HUGE success for HIW and a lot of kids respond. As you know, several Wisconsin kids will be joining the Badgers in the coming seasons and hopefully they'll response to Dplaya. I personally would enjoy hearing the thoughts of 2010 recruits Jefferson Dahl, Sean Little and Chase Drake, as they prepare to enter school and join the Men's Hockey team.

The first interview posted is w/ former Eau Claire defenseman Jake McCabe who played last season w/ the US NTDP U17 team, and will return to the U18 this season, before joining the Badgers in 2011. A reminder Jake has accelerated his studies and will be a freshman at UW instead of a senior in high school in 2011.

I encourage you to read the whole interview, but here are a couple recruiting related questions and answers:

Dplaya: Can you fill us in on how your college recruitment progressed (when it happened, what teams were involved, which you liked, who you visited, why you chose UW)?

McCabe: The first team I had talked to was Wisconsin and that was right around when the high school season ended. After Selects in New York was when more teams started talking to me. Minnesota, Notre Dame and North Dakota were the main ones. I visited both Minnesota and Notre Dame in addition to Wisconsin. I liked all 3 schools a lot but Wisconsin definitely stood out. The campus was great, it has a very good reputation of producing defensemen, the coaches were very courteous to my whole family, and it's pretty close to home. After being 9 hours away it made me realize that I wanted to be able to play in front of my family and friends and be closer to them.

Dplaya: I had heard your intention was to take your time before making a college commitment. Any reason you decided to commit to Wisconsin when you did rather than go through the process of visiting more schools?

McCabe: I knew and talked to a couple guys who felt they committed to early and they then decomitted. I was happy with the few schools I visited and I knew it was going to be between one of those. The whole time my mind was pretty set on Wisconsin but after visiting a couple more schools it was clear that Wisconsin was where me and my family felt like was the best fit for me.

Jake is an exciting player who I'm really looking forward to see play. The 2011 class for the blue line is already looking top notch, as Jake joins Troy Hesketh whose already been drafted by the Oilers in the 3rd round of last summer's NHL draft. Hoping that Eaves schedules the NTDP again this season, give Jake a chance to play in front of the Kohl Center crowd.

Dplaya, keep up the great work over at HIW!!!

PAV'S!!!!!!

Someone had to do it...



Just a reminder, check out this link for all the details on the 2nd annual Joe Pavelski golf outing coming up June 25th, 2010. I can speak from experience that this is an absolutely first class event and they will fill up all the golfing spots so register early to get your spot.

I know for a fact that they are still looking for hole sponsors and what a better way to advertise for your business than to sponsor a hole for a 2006 Wisconsin National Champion, a 2010 Olympic Silver Medalist, and hopefully a 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Champion. Proceeds go to Stevens Point Area Youth Hockey.

We had a fantastic time there last season. Lot's of other pro and college players there as well.

Monday, April 19, 2010

1st Star in Home Debut for Admiral Asskicker

I meant to post this yesterday, but the day got away from me.

I traveled to Milwaukee on saturday night to see Blake Geoffrion's home debut as a Milwaukee Admiral and was not disappointed.

Admiral Asskicker (formerly Captain Asskicker) scored two goals to help the Admirals to a 6-0 win over the Chicago Wolves; for his efforts he was named 1st Star!!!

The first goal was set up by a nice drop pass, which Blake promptly slapped home past the Wolves Peter Mannino early in the 2nd period. In the 3rd period, Blake cleaned up a rebound and put in his 2nd of the night on an Admirals PP.

AA missed his chance at a hat trick later in the 3rd on another PP, when he pulled a Davies (missing an open net when the goalie is out of position) on another rebound, but for his 2nd pro game not too shabby.

Overall, Blake played awesome!!! He was announced as one of the starters (wearing #5) and for a guy who only joined the team the previous day, and had never practiced all out w/ his teammates, he looked like he had been in the AHL all season; he fit right in. Taking a step up in level of play and competition wasn't a problem for Wisconsin's first Hobey Baker winner.

The Admirals look to even the series tonight against the Wolves, so if you are in Milwaukee, head to the Bradley Center for a 7 PM puck drop.

I'd also like to comment that somethings never change, you might remember Peter Mannino from his role as that huge sieve in goal for the Denver Pionners, who liked to flop around anytime Ben Grotting's stick come anywhere near his helmet. After giving up 4 goals in 2 periods, he was replaced in the 3rd period by a folding chair, which aquitted itself quite well in comparison.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ryan Walters De-Commits From Minnesota **UPDATE: Just Spoke With Walters**

Just spoke to sources close to the situation (Updated: Talked to Ryan as well) that have confirmed that Ryan Walters has de-committed from Minnesota.

Walters from the time he committed was promised a spot in 2010. Even when he left for Des Moines this fall he was still told he would be a 2010. He committed in the fall of 2007. He did everything that was asked of him.

I was told that Minnesota set goals for him, and that they wanted him to have a 60+ point season in the USHL this year and he put up 61. They wanted him to be a USHL All-Star and he was the MVP at the All-Star game.

I spoke to Ryan this afternoon and he confirmed the rumors were true. "I sat down with my family today and we came to the realization that this was the best decision for me. I've been trying to get a hold of Coach Lucia all day but have been unsuccessful."

Minnesota met with Walters on Friday and told him not only was he going back to the USHL for another season but they wanted him to change his style of play. They wanted him to stop being "chirpy" and an agitator and more of a pure scorer. The source told me that he was willing to change his game for the coaches, "but it was like they were just coming up with one more thing because he met all the goals maybe they thought he wouldn't."

When asked if high school players that were brought in early affected his decision Walters said, "I'm happy that those guys are Gophers, they are my friends and they deserve everything they have been given."

The source I talked to this afternoon talked about the Gophers recruiting strategies, telling me that not one of the Gopher coaches called Ryan to congratulate him on being a USHL All-Star or for the season that he had. The source also said, "Minnesota was at several games at the end of the season but not once did they stay after to say hi while other schools were talking to their guys."

I talked to Ryan about why he made the decision and he talked about wanting to play college hockey this season, "My family felt that I am ready to play college hockey this upcoming season so I'm going to try and find a school that will allow me to do that."

I asked about potential schools and he didn't hesitate, "I want to play in the WCHA. Minnesota-Duluth and North Dakota are two great schools, but I want to play in the WCHA."

I wrote an article back in early March talking about how the Gophers have over-recruited the forward position for 2010 and that there were going to be a lot of pissed off players. I knew that there were going to be some kids that wouldn't make it to Minnesota and it looks like Walters is the first shoe to drop.

This is what I had to say about Walters in the article, "Ryan Walters committed shortly after Youso. Walters is having an excellent season in the USHL right now. He's averaging over a point per game right now for Des Moines. I know that there has been talk that he'll do what the coaches tell him, but you don't ask a point per game player in the USHL who is committed for 2010 to play his third season in the USHL so Tom f'ing Serratore can come in and play."

When I talked to the source early this afternoon they referenced the article stating, "You were right, if he didn't go in this year, he's never going to the U of M."

Looking at the Minnesota roster for next year, it was clear that they were going to have issues. They return 11 forwards. From what I can tell, they have at least 7 forwards committed for next season (Youso, Condon, Bjugstad, Ambroz, Haula, Larson and Serratore) putting them at an INSAINE 18 forwards. That is not including Max Gardiner (Projected Second Rounder), or Christian Isackson both who will be drafted in the upcoming NHL Draft. This is all in addition to Walters.

Sorry, I know I said I was retired but when this gem falls in your lap I had to inform my readers. Now...back to retirement.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Big John Mitchell has a Big Heart

I saw this posted over on Hockey in Wiscosnin today and thought it needed attention here as well. Big John Mitchell has been volunteering his time w/ Special Olympics not in hockey, but in basketball. Nice work John, these are the kind of stories I like to read!

From HIW:

By Christina Harris, Special Olympics of Wisconsin
Special Contribution to WisSports.net

College hockey fans across the state watched with frenzied excitement as left winger John Mitchell netted two goals against St. Cloud State on March 27, 2010, securing the Wisconsin Badgers 5-3 win and their spot at the NCAA Frozen Four playoffs. But few sports fans witnessed the bright smile that appeared on Special Olympics athlete, Raimond Holschuh’s face when Mitchell appeared to support his basketball team the next day.

The 23-year-old left his ice skates at home Sunday evening, laced up his sneakers, and headed over to Blessed Sacrament Gym to shoot hoops with the West Madison Special Olympics basketball team. As the 6’ 5” hockey player strode into the gym, he towered over an entourage of athletes who eagerly greeted him with high fives and hugs. After relaying the highlights of the game with them, he threw on a green basketball jersey and helped the athletes warm up for their long-awaited scrimmage against the Dane County Deputy Sheriffs.

Mitchell, a Rehabilitation Psychology major from Neenah, Wisconsin, began interning at Special Olympics Wisconsin in the fall of 2009. For the past four months, Mitchell has helped Agency Manager, Lydena Goossens coach two Special Olympics basketball teams— the “Hot Shots” and “Green Phoenix”—each week.

“Many of our athletes love Badger athletics and to have an athlete from one of the sports teams’ volunteering with us is great!” exclaimed Goossens. “Whether it’s to say hello or to talk about a recent game, the athletes enjoy the interaction. John is excited to tell the athletes about his experiences on the ice, and this has helped him create personal relationships with [them].”

“It’s been great [having him volunteer]…we both play hockey,” said Holschuh, who has played hockey for the past ten years. “He taught me how to dangle the puck to maneuver around people. John’s my role model.”

According to Mitchell, he gets something very valuable in return for his coaching-a reminder on the value of sportsmanship. “I’m teaching them nothing except for the skills that they will use in their sport. They are the ones teaching me,” Mitchell responded humbly. “They make me realize that hockey is just a sport and should always be enjoyed. When you get to a certain level in athletics, it becomes a business. Some individuals forget it’s just a game that’s meant to be fun.”

Mitchell, a natural-born athlete who picked up his first hockey stick in elementary school, can relate to the athletes’ youthful passion for sports. But, what resonates most with him is the athletes’ desire to rise above the expectations of others.

“[Hockey] became my passion the first time I scored a goal. I have been addicted ever since,” he said, his eyes full of compassion. “People telling me that…I wasn’t good enough to play at the college level fueled my drive to get here.”

Between juggling practices, games, volunteering, and school, Mitchell has a jam-packed schedule. But, the athletes’ sense of camaraderie motivated him to squeeze in volunteer time, even after his internship ended.

“The enthusiasm these athletes bring to practice every week puts a smile on my face, no matter how bad of a day I’m having,” he said.

Mitchell was in high spirits after scoring a goal just over a minute into the Frozen Four game on Thursday night against RIT. But the winning streak came to an end during the final championship game when they lost 5-0 to Boston College. After playing hockey for the University of Wisconsin, Mitchell will trade his Badger’s hockey stick for a diploma when he graduates in May, but according to him, it doesn’t end there.

“My dream was to play hockey for the Wisconsin Badgers, so I gave that a shot,” said Mitchell. “Now that I’ve made it this far, professional hockey has become my new dream job.”

Wherever his talent takes him, Mitchell says helping athletes like Holschuh realize their dreams and discover their untapped potential will remain an integral part of his life.

“I do it because I enjoy giving my time back,” he said. “A lot of people put their time in for me to get where I’ve gotten to, so the least I can do is give some of my time back for them.”

Admiral Asskicker: It's official

Sources:
JSOnline
Nashville Predators' website
and a commenter in the last story gets credit for the heads up.

His debut will be tonight in Chicago. Again, games 3 and 4 of the Admirals' series against Chris Chelios and the Chicago Wolves are tomorrow and Monday at the Bradley Center.

Way to kick ass, Blake!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Captain Kickass gets promoted to Admiral?

Admiral Asskicker. Admiral Blake Kickass Hobey Bamm Bamm Baker Asskicker.

It's got a good ring to it, right?

As indicated by a commenter earlier, Bamm Bamm seems to be making his move to Milwaukee. Or Chicago, as it were. I can't find anything on the Predators or Admirals websites (of course, they'll post something right after I post this... my luck), but Admiral Asskicker did leave the ever so cryptic Tweet:

Heading to Chicago tomorrow....got to get all packed up.

Go get 'em, Admiral.

Note: if you live in Milwaukee, there will be a viewing party at Major Goolsby's to watch game 2 of the AHL first round of the playoffs. The Admirals and Wolves face off in Chicago. Games 3 and 4 are at the Bradley Center this Saturday and Monday. Tickets are probably cheap.

In related Badger Alumni news: Chris Chelios is continuing to defy the laws of time and play for the Wolves and will be facing off against Bamm Bamm and the Admirals (assuming, of course, that Blake was going there to join the team and not to go check out Millenium Park). The Wolves won game 1. Best of luck to both Badgers!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No Alibis Q&A

As is the case with any hockey blog, it's bound to get a little slow during the offseason. A pro signee here, a recruit/alumni story there, and that's generally it until its time to do season previews and what-have-you. Hopefully there will be more news about the practice facility, but that might be wishful thinking...

With that in mind, I tried to think of something we could do on the blog to help fill in the gaps until the 2010-11 season kicks into gear. One idea that came to my mind was to take inspiration from shamelessly rip off the "Q&A" recurring feature from the AV Club website.

For those unaware, the feature works this way: someone comes up with some question (AV Club is a music/movies/tv/etc. website, so there its usually stuff like "tv show that brings back your childhood" or "first record you ever bought" or "terrible show you secretly like"). Then all of the editors, columnists give short, one paragraph answers.

I figure we could give something like that a try, but it'll be more fun and interactive if you guys send us the questions. So if you have any Wisconsin Hockey questions (relating to anything about Wisconsin hockey) you'd like us to answer, send them to me at exileondaytonstreet@gmail.com.

If we think it'll make for an interesting little feature, then it might pop up later on. Until then, we'll be keeping our eyes open for pro signings, recruit updates and cool alumni stuff during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Link-o-rama

Time to catch up on a few stories:

Madison.com
Loss aside, Badgers back where they should be (Tom Oates) Essentially: this shouldn't be a once-every-four-years phenomenon.
Davies, Badgers had their opportunities (Andy Baggott) Okay, I won't post too many "recaps", but I figure at least one was necessary.
Dayne's Heisman helps Alvarez appreciate Geoffrion's Hobey (Baggott) As you might guess, this one sort of confirms how little Alvarez knows about this program. I mean, it's one thing when Neal Broten didn't know that no Badger had won the award (you know... since he's never worked for UW and was a hero for our bitter enemy) quite another when the AD doesn't know it until the day of the ceremony. But, like certain types of Badger fans, Barry sometimes needs to filter his feelings through UW's other, less successful programs before he can truly appreciate what an excellent hockey program we have.
Alvarez on new hockey rink: "We'll get it done" (Baggott) A little bit of damage control on the reaction to postponing the practice facility earlier this year. Not sure we learn anything new here, but it's still a good reminder that it ain't over til it's over.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal
Blake Geoffrion Quasi-Update (Eric Kent) Bamm Bamm's road to Milwaukee/Nashville could go a few different ways.
UW-Madison ends apparel deal with Nike (Sharif Durhams) Not surprising, what with our Adidas sponsorhips on our equipment and all...

Other Places
Frozen Four Notebook: Brendan Smith talks future (Michael Spath, CollegeHockey247.com) Remember when Robbie Earl was put on the spot and claimed he'd be coming back in 2006-07? Yeah, this feels like that. Also some other post-Frozen Four stuff in there, including a false claim that we won the Broadmoor this year.
Preds will look to sign Geoffrion soon (John Glennon, The Tennessean) Self-explainatory.
Loss Aside, Hockey Season a Success (Adam Holt, Badger Herald)
Game Recap, Nashville vs. St. Louis, 4-10-10 (NHL.com) Evidently, Captain Kickass was given a huge ovation when his Hobey victory was announced during a stoppage in play on Saturday.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Early Departures are coming

First, I'd like to thank Chuck for all of his hard work over the past 2 years here on the blog. Best of luck in your future endeavors! 60, vacation over, we have to pick up the slack now.

Today in the WSJ Andy Baggot discusses early departures, and so why not talk about it; the season is over and it is going to happen whether as fans we foolishly wish everyone would return.

From Baggot's article:

In addition to the seven seniors - all forwards - it's expected Smith and junior defenseman Cody Goloubef will bypass their senior seasons and turn pro. Smith is a first-round NHL draft pick of Detroit and the top-scoring defenseman in the nation who appears anxious to get to the next level. Goloubef is a second-round pick of Columbus, a NHL organization known for wanting its top talent in the system as soon as possible.

The biggest wild card is junior defenseman and tri-captain Ryan McDonagh, a former first-round pick of the New York Rangers. He was a dominant physical force - arguably the best all-around blue-liner in the nation - but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him follow Geoffrion's decorated path and return to the Badgers in search of an NCAA title.

Sophomore center Derek Stepan led UW in scoring - 12 goals, 42 assists, 54 points - and earned rave reviews as captain of the U.S. team that won the gold medal at the World Junior Championships. But the second-round draft pick of the Rangers has consistently maintained he plans to return.

No one is surprised that Smith is a lock to leave for the pros and join Detroit's system. Cody Goloubef is a surprise to me, but not as much as talk that McDonagh might actually return. To be blunt, holy shit it would be something special of McD returned for a senior season. Baggot makes good points on why one might leave (Goloubef) and why one might stay (McD).

I have to ask though, how is Ryan McDonagh not ready for the next level? There isn't a dman in the country as physical and pro ready as this young man. He doesn't have anything left to prove at this level, but if he returns I certainly won't be complaining!

Cody Goloubef on the other hand could easily step up to the pros, but I think he'd have plenty to gain by returning to Madison for another year (besides the obvious of a large paycheck, etc). Assuming McDonagh leaves still, he'd be the leader on the blue line, likely an alternate captain, and probably see a ton of ice time, bigger offensive role, etc.

It will be interesting to see what happens. I'd be surprised to the Ducks call for either Jake Gardiner or Justin Schultz. The latter did have a great freshman year, but he still has a lot to learn. If Gardiner returns he'll likely take Brendan Smith's spot on the PP and could be the next Badger blue line All American.

I think Stepan stays, and there aren't really any other flight risks at forward, though you never know what will happen. Brett Bennett could leave too if the Coyotes come calling, as Goody certainly asserted himself as the top tender, but the spot will be up for grabs again in the Fall.

Last season the team hit the jackpot getting McDonagh and Geoffrion back, this season will be a matter of how many leave. I think the team can survive 3 departures, but more than that could make things tough. Should be an interesting few months coming up.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thank You Badgers

*Thank you Goody for stepping up this year when everyone doubted you.
*Thank you Craig Johnson for playing like you never missed a beat when the WCHA suspended Golo.
*Thank you Springer for being ready when others couldn't go.
*Thank you Blake for Wisconsin's first Hobey. You now carry "legend" status in the state of Wisconsin. We'll never, ever forget you.
*Thank you Schultzy for running our PP as a freshman.
*Thank you Smitty for improving not only offensively, but in your own end as well. Night and day compared to when you arrived on campus.
*Thank you Podge for working your ass off all season just hoping for an opportunity. It pays off in the end.
*Thank you Davies for your maturity this season. Growing into a two way player paid off.
*Thank you PJ for being a team player when you were taken out of the lineup. Not a lot of people would handle that situation with your class.
*Thank you Bohmber for going from a walk on forward that not many expected much, to a first liner on a Frozen Four squad
*Thank you Bendi for your heart, desire, and determination. You were consistently one of my favorite players to watch because of your hustle and drive on the ice.
*Thank you Grotting for kicking Patrick Whites ass.
*Thank you C. Smith for learning to harness your aggression on the ice. You can be a force when you keep yourself on the ice.
*Thank you Dolan for being a rock solid pivot.
*Thank you McD for being the most shut down defender I've ever seen at Wisconsin.
*Thank you Gardiner for accepting your new role as a shut down defender and taking team glory over personal statistics.
*Thank you Ryan Little for working your ass off every day at practice knowing your red shirting and won't see a minute of ice time this season.
*Thank you Steps for elevating your game to an elite status. Don't you think you would look pretty nice up on that Hobey stage next year? 1 more year...
*Thank you Street for being the consummate veteran. You proved your dedication to this program by coming off that horrible knee injury to make another run at a title.
*Thank you DLee for rolling with the punches in as a freshman in a tough league. You'll be needed down the road.
*Thank you Mitchy for turning yourself into a player.
*Thank you Meuer for accepting your role and sticking with it.
*Thank you Golo for being the quiet rock on the d-core. You've always been under-rated. Your time in the spotlight is fast approaching.
*Thank you Jordy for being a ginger and being awesome. You've been put in about every situation and played on about every line and shined everywhere. You're a hockey player plain and simple.
*Thank you BB for pushing Goody all season. You'll get another crack at it next fall.
*Thank you Mitch Thompson for keeping our snipers sharp all year in practice.
*Thank you Johnny Ramage for exceeding EVERYONE'S expectations in your rookie year.
*Thank you Hockey Operations (Michael Cerniglia-Director of hockey ops, Zachary Remiker-video, Jim Snider-strength and conditioning, Paul Capobianco-communications, Andy Hrodey-trainer, Nate LaPoint-equipment manager) for all the work you do behind the scenes to make this program first class.
*Thank you coaching staff (Mike Eaves, Kevin Patrick, Mark Osiecki) for keeping the Badger tradition alive. There isn't a question in my mind we have the best staff in the nation.

This was one of the funnest seasons I've ever had watching Badger hockey. Right from the get go expectations were high for this squad and they did nothing to disappoint. Every single player on the roster should be proud of what they accomplished this season. As a fan there isn't much more I could ask for.

With that said, I sadly am announcing that I will be stepping down from the blog. I've known for a little over a month that I was going to be hanging it up. It's the right time for this move. In addition to those mentioned above, I'd also like to thank the other writers of this blog, 60 Minutes, ExileOnDaytonStreet, Gandalf the Red, and Blockski for your hard work and having to put up with my bs. I'd also like to thank the readers. Thanks to everyone who sent in kind e-mails and tips, and even those that weren't that kind. I appreciate it all.

I'm sure the other writers will keep this blog going strong and it will be better than ever. I know that I will continue to stop by to read this thing daily. Thanks again for everything. On Wisconsin.


Chuck Schwartz
chuckschwartz@live.com
Sixty Minutes. No Alibis. No Regrets.
"It's a great day for Hockey"-Bob Johnson

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ugh...

Well, that was ugly.

Not to take any credit away from BC. They had an excellent game plan, and they executed it to literal perfection. They used their speed to get in our way, to avoid taking penalties and they kept UW on their heels for much of the game. They dismantled the best team of the regular season on Thursday, and they completely oblider-raped one of the most fluid passing and skating teams in the nation tonight. I've made no secret of my admiration for Jerry York in the USCHO forums, and I'll repeat those sentiments here. He's a top notch coach who never fails to get what he wants out of his team. Well done, Boston College. That trophy was yours since the puck dropped.

As for the Badgers... I'd almost rather not say much about them. Their play was listless (I took note of the lack of moving legs I saw for much of the game, especially after the third BC goal), and not very indicative of what a great season they had this year.

These are still young adults, after all, and while they get scholarship money and great opportunities for the next level of hockey, they don't deserve for me to pile on them for how tonight's game went. Many of them played their last games in the Red and White tonight, and they all deserve our appreciation for what they've done representing our University. One can only hope that the returning players can use tonight's game as motivation to come back and finish the job. Here's hoping we don't have to rebuild for three seasons before it happens.

Thank you, Badger Seniors (and soon-to-be early departures), best of luck to you.

Here's to next year.

List of All-Americans Grows

Wisconsin has a long history of All-American players and that list just got two members longer.

On the same day that Blake Geoffrion was named the winner of the 2010 Hobey Baker, he was also named 1st Team All-American along w/ teammate Brendan Smith. Both were obvious choices, and joined three Denver players in an almost clean WCHA sweep of the West 1st Team.

Brendan Smith followed in the footsteps of his former PP unit teammate Jamie McBain who was a 1st Teamer last season. I think there is a good chance someone in the Cardinal and White continues that tradition next season. Jake Gardiner, Justin Schultz, who wants to step up?

Captain Asskicker becomes the first Badger forward since Olympian Joe Pavelski was a 2nd Teamer in 2006.

Congrats to both Blake and Brendan on the much deserved recognition and bring home #7 tonight!!!

GO RED!!!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

He's Hobey Baker: Blake Geoffrion

From Gandalf's Ode:
Some call him Boom Boom or Bam Bam, but for such an astute young man of character, he’s our leader: Captain Asskicker.
And now he has another name: Hobey Baker.

For quite some time now, Gandalf and I have been telling everyone who will listen that Geoffrion is the best complete hockey player in college hockey. And I'm glad the Hobey Baker committee saw that as well and has finally deigned to honor a Badger. As much as we all think Steve Reinprecht and Brian Elliott were robbed (not to mention Gary Shuchuk, who somehow ridiculously didn't even make the top 10, let alone the top 3), it seems somewhat fitting that our current captain is the first Badger recipient. As I said earlier, there seems to be a bit of an air of destiny around Geoffrion, and so he's become our first Badger Hobey.

Congratulations to Blake for this well-deserved honor.

Former Gopher Throws Puck In Own Net, Typical

INCH Player of the Year: Captain AssKicker

I know, I know, it's just INCH, but it's still cool. Even INCH can recognize the awesomeness of our fearless captain.

But then again, how could anyone not recognize the awesomeness of our Captain AssKicker? Going into the regionals, I had a feeling about the Badgers, and it hinged off my belief in 2 players -- Blake Geoffrion and Mike Davies. They've really been clutch for the Badgers, especially in the latter half of the season, and as far as I'm concerned, if you can't believe in Geoffrion and Davies, I honestly don't know what you could believe in. I'll admit that I might be slightly unbalanced when it comes to Badger Hockey, lol, and so feel free to call me crazy, but it seems to me there's an air of destiny around Captain Asskicker.

Now before my new friend IHateRedWings has a stroke, let me state that under no circumstances am I going to predict the outcome of Saturday's game. Having the guy next to me (not Mr 60, just some random hockey fan sitting on the other side of me) say something about a shutout last night was bad enough, gah, if IHRW was there I think he would've had a serious talking-to with that guy.

Anyway, getting back to INCH, they also named Brendan Smith their Defenseman of the Year. NICE!

Speaking of stellar defenseman, I'd like to digress a bit and take this opportunity to give some love to Ryan McDonagh. After the West Regionals, I meant to post about his being named to the all-tourney team, but I never got around to it. Which is terrible on my part (my apologies to Ryan McDonagh fans everywhere), because I was quite pleased to see McD recognized. With all the hype around Brendan Smith, it's a bit unfortunate that McD hasn't gotten more recognition. From a pure defensive standpoint, he's probably the best defenseman on the team; he's just plain rock solid.

ON WISCONSIN!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Breaking News: Ford Field Sucks

Clearly I'm being facetious (with the "breaking news" part, not the "Ford Field Sucks" part, just in case you're drunk/giddy like a certain Badger fan - who I last heard was frightening her friends - and therefore might have some comprehension problems), but I wanted a catchy title and I'm easily amused.

Good ol' Hatchet Joe sure would've been proud of me tonight. When they announced the attendance for this evening -- and they sure made a point of saying that not only was it a record-breaking attendance for the FF, but that it was also a world record for attendance at an indoor hockey game -- I boooooooo'd and yelled "Ford Field Sucks!". Then they told us to congratulate ourselves by cheering, and I yelled the same thing again. I felt that since Hatchet wasn't there to do it for himself that I really owed it to him to do it in his place. For the record, the crowd's reaction to the attendance announcement was fairly subdued/mostly silence, but the NCAA can be pretty dense, so they probably didn't understand that the fans' lack of excitement about the attendance was related to the terrible venue. Honestly, who thought a football stadium would be a good place to host championship hockey games??

By the way, anyone who got the risers was really screwed. You'd think that the risers they put in would be steep, but they're the shallowest risers I've ever seen. Just terrible, worst seats in the house, I think. Keep this in mind if you're making the trip on Sat.

Btw, we went to the Joe last night for a Wings game, and dang, it makes me wish this whole thing was at the Joe this year -- not a bad seat in the house, and hey, it's also the site of the Badgers' victorious conclusion of the Drive for Five 20 years ago. And honestly, why aren't we at the Joe this year? The Wings' last regular season home game was on Wednesday -- their last 2 games are on the road on Fri and Sun. I don't care if the Joe is old and getting run down, the sitelines are great, and Ford Field sucks.

Badgers 8 - RIP Tigers 1

I got a voice mail today during the game from Hatchet Joe, and he was yelling "RIP RIP" at the TV as RIT fans were chanting "RIT RIT" . . .

As I'm sure you all already know, the Badgers completely dominated the game; didn't really seem much sense in continuing the game after the 1st period, to tell ya the truth.

I feel just a little bit bad for RIT (but only just a little bit) because ya gotta like the underdog, but as Hatchet Joe would say, "Go back to Rhode Island". (Ok, it wasn't Hatchet who said that yesterday, but I can't remember who the heck it was, and it sure sounds like something Hatchet would say, doesn't it? Last year he kept pissing off the Miami fans by telling them to go back to Florida, lol.)

GO BUCKY!

We're Goin To The Ship

Detroit Beer Company

I'm briefly interrupting my vacation here in beautiful Detroit to quickly mention the Detroit Beer Company. Naturally, the UW and the NCAA don't communicate, so the UW and the NCAA have named different "officially gathering locations" for Wisconsin fans. The UW designated Cheli's, which ya gotta go to, because it's Cheli's Chili Bar, enough said. (I got my picture taken with Cheli yesterday, lol -- there's a big picture of him painted on the wall.) But you might also want to check out the Detroit Beer Company, which is the establishment designated for Wisconsin by the NCAA. The menu looks pretty good, and Mr 60 highly approves of the beer that he's tried there so far -- we're heading back today so he can try some more, lol.

Go BADGERS!

Frozen Four Semi's: Wisconsin vs RIT Preview

Can you feel it? I am starting to feel it. We're less than five hours away from Frozen Four Semi-Final number 1 between Wisconsin and RIT.

Wisconsin enters this contest after playing two strong games against Vermont and St. Cloud at the West Regional in St. Paul two weeks ago. RIT enters today riding a high after upsetting two of the top teams in the nation in Denver and New Hampshire.

What it's going to take for RIT to win:
It starts in the nets with Jared DeMichiel who has been on an unreal hot stretch as of late. He's going to have to play out of his mind for RIT to have a chance. Wisconsin is one of the highest scoring teams in the country and they get a ton of shots on goal. The first defense pairing of Dan Ringwald and Chris Tanev will probably play at least 30 minutes today and they are going to have to play the games of their lives.

Offensively they are going to have to capitalize on the Badgers mistakes. I don't think they are going to beat Wisconsin playing straight up so they may have to get a bit tricky. RIT likes to play low scoring games and capitalize on other teams mistakes. They are going to need to stick to this strategy to have a chance today. If they get into an up and down game with the Badgers they will get their doors blown off. Expect a lot of play in RIT's end.

What will it take for Wisconsin to win:
Wisconsin needs to be the aggressor and take their game at RIT at full speed. RIT likes to play lock down hockey and get a goal and sit on a lead. The Badgers need to come out right off the bat and get an early lead. If RIT gets down they are going to need to take more chances offensively and Wisconsin can exploit that any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

As usual, the Badgers need Scotty Gudmandson to step his game up. He's been good enough to get us this far, hopefully he can get us a little further. Like I've said all season, we don't need him to win us any games, we just need him not to lose us any games. If Scotty plays solid, we'll be alright.

Also, our special teams are going to be very important today. We're pretty much unbeatable when our PP is clicking. If the Badgers can convert a couple of times on the PP, they will be ok.

Badger Lines
Andy Bohmbach-Blake Geoffrion-Craig Smith
Ben Street-Derek Stepan-Michael Davies
John Mitchell-Aaron Bendickson-Jordy Murray
Podge Turnbull-Sean Dolan-Ben Grotting

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

Scott Gudmandson

RIT Lines
Stevan Matic-Cameron Burt-Sean Murphy
Taylor McReynolds-Mark Cornacchia-Mike Janda
Scott Knowles-Adam Hartley-Brent Alexin
Tyler Mazzei-Andrew Favot-Tyler Brenner

Dan Ringwald-Chris Tanev
Chris Saracino-Chris Haltigin
Alan Mazur- Daniel Spivak

Jared DeMichiel

Ode to Captain Asskicker

In honor of the team's pursuit for #7 and to honor Captain Asskicker I've written an ode.

Ode to Captain Asskicker by Gandalf the Red

From bloodlines of yore, Blake Geoffrion grew to now lead a group of Badgers on a championship pursuit.
Great Grand Dad Howie was an original NHL legend raising Lord Stanley’s Cup on three separate occasions.
Grand Dad Boom Boom invented the slapper, he won six Cups himself and had his number raised to the rafters.
Dad Danny was drafted and skated a regular shift, for three seasons the NHL ice was his pitch.
Young Blake’s future looks bright, soon a Predator he’ll be, but first to Detroit for three nights of glory.

As a freshman, Blake was a punk spending less time skating on the ice than in a penalty funk.
In his second campaign, he became a fan favorite, playing left wing on the top line and saving KT from over hyped failure.
As a junior, young Geoffrion took the Captain’s C and became the lead man after Streeter went out w/ a knee.
No one thought he’d return as a senior, as a contract was weighed against a collegiate concern of returning unpaid.
But return Blake did, for a senior farewell that will be remembered in Madison as a legend to tell.
Some call him Boom Boom or Bam Bam, but for such an astute young man of character, he’s our leader: Captain Asskicker.

Blake scores the goals, currently 27 to his credit, and can made a sweet pass for his teammate’s benefit.
He grinds in the corner, hits like a hammer and blocks shots out front in a beautiful manner.
Blake leads the top line, w/ the revolving left wing, but w/ C Smith have been making the opposing goalie a SIEVE.
On the PP, scoring 14 times, there is no one better, not just in the WCHA, but everywhere by comparison.
On the PK, Blake is arguably the best, but don’t leave out the Bohmber, who together put any argument of stature to rest.
Part of wearing the “C” is talking to the refs, I feel sorry for Blake because Shepard, Hunt and Anderson are morons at best.
In all aspects of the game, Blake kicks lots of ass; Aaron Marvin had to cheap shot him in the head because he wears his sister Gigi’s dress.

Now the season winds down and soon the Hobey Baker will be crowned.
A finalist Blake was, along w/ blue line teammate Brendan, but when the Hat Trick was named only Blake was left standing.
Two other finalists are left, both from the east coast, where excessive voter bias is about all they can boast.
Did Maine make the tourney? And where is New Hampshire? When the season was on the line Bobby Butler let RIT continue to be cinderella; wow what leadership.
Blake’s stats are in line, but his leadership, heart and charity far out shine, so just hand him the damn award and stop wasting our time.
1st Team All WCHA and West Regional MVP are just steps along the way to achieving the first Badger Hobey.
At the end of the day, winning the Hobey would be great, but Captain Asskicker’s real goal is leading his team to #7’s fate.

After a grueling season, Blake led the troops to St Paul to compete in the West Regional hosted by the gophers whose season was bankrupted by Kangas letting too many goals in.
Tough opponents were Vermont and St Cloud, but the Badgers prevailed allowing the quest for #7 to continue.
On to Detroit, championship weekend is here and thousands will fill Ford Field to jeer and cheer.
Blake will rally the team and won’t allow young minds, to look past an RIT team, full of really old Canadians, who continue to surprise.
Should they be victorious another tough opponent will lie in wait, both were a runners-up, Miami last season, and Boston College when the Badgers achieved #6.
The faithful in Cardinal and White will join the team in mass, looking forward to Thursday’s puck drop and first pass.
Captain Asskicker will be there to faceoff at that first drop and along with his teammates will settle for nothing but the top.
60 thinks #7 is a matter of fate, I can’t help but agree w/ #5 leading the way.

Soon this ode ends, but not w/ out praise, for four great years of memories to a new Badger great
Thank you Blake Geoffrion for all that you’ve done, you’ve worn the Cardinal and White w/ pride and damn it was fun.
On my personal list, you join my favorites: move over McBain and the Bohmber, Tommy Gilbert and Elliott, you too Polish Prince of Plover; it is time to make room for Captain Asskicker to join your outstanding crew.
Whether Blake wins the Hobey or leads the team to #7 this championship weekend is not relevant, because to me he’ll always be the Cardinal and White’s Captain Asskicker.

Frozen Four Thursday, "I'm In Love"

"Where's my gangstas and all my thugs,
Throw them hands up and show some love
And I welcome you to Detroit City
I said welcome to Detroit City."

Badger Men vs RIT: Thursday 4:00 PM PM

UW: 27-10-4 overall (Last weekend beat Vermont 3-2, SCSU 5-3)
RIT: 28-11-1 overall (Last weekend beat Denver 2-1, UNH 6-2)

Game Day Links:
TV: ESPN2 (HD)
Radio: WIBA 1310
Webcast: ESPN360
Audio webstream: insideBADGERSPORTS ($9.95/mo)
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
Freshman forward Keegan Meuer won this weeks shootout.

Badger Lines
Andy Bohmbach-Blake Geoffrion-Craig Smith
Ben Street-Derek Stepan-Michael Davies
John Mitchell-Aaron Bendickson-Jordy Murray
Podge Turnbull-Sean Dolan-Ben Grotting

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

Scott Gudmandson

RIT Lines
Stevan Matic-Cameron Burt-Sean Murphy
Taylor McReynolds-Mark Cornacchia-Mike Janda
Scott Knowles-Adam Hartley-Brent Alexin
Tyler Mazzei-Andrew Favot-Tyler Brenner

Dan Ringwald-Chris Tanev
Chris Saracino-Chris Haltigin
Alan Mazur- Daniel Spivak

Jared DeMichiel

Previews
UW Badgers: Preview, Game Notes
RIT Athletics: Preview, Game Notes
Baggot (WSJ): UW Men's Hockey vs RIT
Holt (Badger Herald): It all Adds up for UW
Brenier (Daily Cardinal): Cinderella RIT aims to knock off Badgers

Other Aricles/Links
Baggot (WSJ Blog): Eaves gets Ford Field Scouting Report
Baggot (WSJ): Geoffrion has grown into great
Lucas (WSJ): Badgers seek Madtown to Motown hat trick
Radloff (WSJ): First Skate at Frozen Ford
Baggot (WSJ): "X Factor" marks the spot for Eaves, Badgers
Baggot (WSJ): Players not impressed with Ford Field Ice
Breiner (Daily Cardinal): Badger hockey program sets bar high
Savidge (Daily Cardinal): Badgers Villians in RIT Matchup

The Usual Suspects
CHN: Tale of the tape
CHN: Wisconsin's Senior Moments
CHN: On Balance, Wisconsin has a lot on it's side
CHN: RIT Looks to slay more giants
CHN: RIT Arrives mixing fun, business
USCHO: Wisconsin Harkens Back
USCHO: Video: Wisconsin on motivation

EoDS' Songs of the Day

Happy gameday!

Let's start off with a few of my favorites:

Varsity (no embedding on this version)

Beer Barrel Polka:
Criminally, there's nothing on Youtube with the Crease Creatures singing it (I love the endless loop we do... the students could do that for a whole period and I'd love every second of it), so this'll do:


The "Seriously, Your Beer Is Awful, So We Must Steal Your Song" Song:


Power... Play!!!!:



And the all time classic... PHIL!!!:



P.S.- Another one someone needs to get on youtube: The Let's Go Red cheer. I really like the faster version from the hockey games where everyone jumps while they sing it, but that's not online from what I can tell. Here's a decent video of the football team's "red zone" version.


Other random stuff I'm thinking of:

A song I originally put together for Michigan Tech, but never tried it before graduating:

(To the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It")
If you want a sausage fest, go to Tech *clap*clap*
If you want a sausage fest, go to Tech *clap*clap*
Where the women aren't worth mention,
Like a comic book convention,
If you want a sausage fest, go to Tech *clap*clap*

And just because we're in Detroit:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Coach Eaves On The Radio

As you could have probably guessed in addition to spending a ton of time preparing the team for RIT, there are also a ton of media obligations for the players and coaching staff of the Wisconsin Badgers.

Coach Eaves has been a busy man over the past couple of weeks and I've found a couple of radio interviews that he has done. The first one that I'm going to link for you is from The Pipeline Show. If you aren't familiar with the pipeline show, it's based out of Edmonton, Alberta and as you can expect they focus a lot on the Major Junior game. But I'll give them credit, they give the college game a fair shake and spend a lot more time than you would expect defending the college route.

The Pipeline Show is live on Tuesdays from 7-9 local time and is hosted by Dean Millard and Guy Flaming. You can find their interview with coach Eaves here. It starts at about the 3:00 mark of the video. They also have a blog that you can check out here.

Coach Eaves was also on a local radio show out of Eau Claire this past week on Tuesday, March 30th, shortly after qualifying for the 2010 Frozen Four.

The station is out of Eau Claire and as you could have probably guessed by the graphic it is Sports Radio 1400 WBIZ and the show that Coach Eaves was featured on is called the "Water Cooler." It's a 1 hour daily radio show Monday through Friday that talks local sports. I've checked out some of their on demand interviews and it's some pretty cool stuff.

You can check out the almost 7 minute interview with coach Eaves here.

They also have linked up an interview with Badger Radio voice Brian Posick which you can find here.

TW Wins Opener; Clark Wins, Kerdiles Loses

The Team Wisconsin U16's took care of business in the opener in a thrilling 2-1 victory over the #25 ranked Carolina Jr. Hurricanes.

Team Wisconsin who played in the National Tournament last year as well, also opened up with an OT victory if my memory serves me correctly. The goal last year was scored by former Eau Claire Memorial, current USA NTDP-17, and future Badger defenseman Jake McCabe. Tonight's goal was scored by another Eau Claire Memorial product with a Badger connection, Alex Dahl who's older brother Jefferson will be a freshman forward for the Badgers next season. Garrett Clemment from Wausau assisted on the game winner.

Brandon Walls from DePere had the other goal for Team Wisconsin. He was assisted by Ashton Wackym from USM and Ben Scherschel from Oregon. Austin Priebe from Wausau West was a rock in the nets for TW stopping 26 of 27 pucks to earn the victory.

Team Wisconsin U16's next play tomorrow vs #10 North Jersey Avalanche @ 5:00 PM.

Nic Kerdiles, the 2012 forward recruit who plays for the LA Select U16's, who I talked about in the previous post lost 2-0 to the #1 ranked Chicago Mission squad. The Mission, who sent 6 players to the recent NTDP tryout camp are absolutely loaded. Forward Lane King who is from Wisconsin had an assist in the win for the Mission. Kerdiles obviously went scoreless. Kerdiles and the U16 LA Selects next play tomorrow at 12:45 PM vs the Carolina Jr Hurricanes.

Jason Clark, the 2010 forward recruit mentioned previously had a bit better fortune. His #1 ranked Shattuck St. Marys U18 squad beat the Pittsburgh Hornets 2-1 in Overtime. Clark, who will be an NHL draft pick this summer was held scoreless in the opener. Clark and U18 Shattuck St. Marys squad next plays tomorrow at 7:30 PM vs Detroit Belle Tire.

Badger Recruits At USA Nationals

As I noted in the last post, USA Hockey is running it's annual National Tournaments this week/end. Two committed Badger recruits are poised to be prominent players as they lead their teams towards a Championship.

Nick Kerdiles, a 1994 born forward from California is the premier player for the LA Selects U16 squad. Back in February, Kerdiles committed to the Badgers for the 2012 season. He visited the campus for the Culvers Camp Randall Hockey Classic. I interviewed him shortly after the commitment.

Kerdiles and his LA Selects squad advanced to Nationals by sweeping through the Pacific District playoffs going 5-0. The LA Selects are ranked #14 in the Country in the U16 division according to My Hockey Rankings.com. They play the Chicago Mission team tonight at 6:20. The Mission are the #1 ranked team in the U16 division. They have a pair of potential UW recruits with forward Ray Piggozi and defenseman Justin Wade.

Jason Clark, who I mentioned earlier today in my post talking about the NHL Central Scouting rankings leads his Shattuck St. Mary's squad into the U18 tournament. Shattuck St. Mary's is the number 1 ranked team in the country according to My Hockey Rankings.com. Clark, a 2010 forward recruit committed to the Badgers in January. He's had a very nice season for Shattuck St. Marys and is ranked as the #81 best available North American prospect for the upcoming NHL Draft.

Shattuck is having an outstanding season going 35-9-5. They went 10-3-2 in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League featuring the best U18 players from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. Shattuck opens up their tournament with the Pittsburgh Hornets at 4:10 PM.

Nick Kerdiles LA Selects Schedule:

4/7/2010-6:20 PM vs Chicago Mission
4/8/2010-12:45 PM vs Carolina Jr Hurricanes
4/9/2010-8:15 AM vs North Jersey Avalanche

Jason Clark's Shattuck St. Mary's Schedule:

4/7/2010-4:10 PM vs Pittsburgh Hornets
4/8/2010-7:30 PM vs Detroit Belle Tire
4/9/1010-2:45 PM vs Mid Fairfield Blues

Team Wisconsin Opens At USA Nationals Tonight

I apologize for not getting to this before but It's been a crazy last five days with Easter, my birthday, and a trip to Milwaukee for Brewers opening day.

If you weren't already aware, Team Wisconsin U16's are playing in the USA Hockey National Tournament which started today in Woodbridge, Illinois.

Team Wisconsin get's underway tonight when they take on the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes at 6:00 PM. The game can be watched live on the internet at FastHockey.com for $6.99 per game. I planned on watching tonight's game and giving a scouting report in the morning but some business has come up and I unfortunately won't be able to. Team Wisconsin management has been very helpful so hopefully I can get a game recap from them either later tonight or tomorrow morning.

I saw the Team Wisconsin U16's play a few times this fall and came away very impressed. They are coached by former Badger and NHL'er Gary Shuchuk who according to DPlaya is being rumored as a potential candidate to fill Kevin Patrick's coaching opening for next season when he takes over as a USHL head coach.

Offensively TW is led by the first line of Hudson's Ryan Dau (.94 points per game), Middleton's Todd
Koritzinski (.94 PPG) and Monona Grove's Trevor Okeson (.63 PPG). They have combined for 86 points this season. There is virtually zero drop off to the second line with Wausau West's Garrett Clemment (.90 PPG), Eau Claire Memorials Alex Dahl (.77 PPG), and Green Bay United's Evan Janssen (.46 PPG). Another forward of note is Beaver Dam's Nick Szopinski (.54 PPG).

Team Wisconsin had a nice stable of defensemen as well. I really like Brookfield's Matthew Fosdick and Notre Dame Academy's Tim Davison. Fosdick is the leading scorer for the defensemen with 18 points.

Here is the full schedule for Team Wisconsin at USA Nationals:

Wednesday, April 7 - vs #25 Carolina Jr. Hurricanes @ 6:00 PM
Thursday, April 8 - vs #10 North Jersey Avalanche @ 5:00 PM
Friday, April 9 - vs #1 Chicago Mission @ 5:00 PM
Saturday, April 10 - Quarter-Finals in AM (TBD) Semi-Finals in PM (TBD)
Sunday, April 11 - Championship @ 10:00 AM

Badgers Look Loose, Ready For RIT

All photos stolen off of Julie Robenhymer's twitter (@JulieRobenhymer). Julie describes herself as a "Hockey writer, fashionista, former Miss NJ, all around fabulous person :)" I would have to agree. She writes for Hockey Buzz.com if you didn't already know. Go check out her stuff so I don't feel so dirty for stealing these photo's.

Click on photo to enlarge

Maxin' and relaxin'. From R to L: Sean Dolan, Ben Grotting, Ryan Little?, Keegan Meuer, Michael Davies?







Cody Goloubef does an interview with some teammates looking on and Jordy Murray creeping like a ginger in the background.







Goloubef shown here again giving another interview, this time with Junior foward Podge Turnbull working the sound with a glove on the end of a hockey stick "boom" mic.

Badgers Have 10 Mile Walk To Ice Surface

Former Badger beat writer Todd Milewski has been doing some side work for USCHO I believe as an executive editor. He's got a great update today over there with this video of the walk the Badgers will have to make to get from the locker room to the ice surface.

All I have to say is that it is an absolutely brutal walk. There has been talk that the goalies may get to ride on golf carts from the ice to the locker room and vice versa. After viewing this video, it makes a ton of sense.

Thanks to Mr. Milewski for this info. Great work.

Here are a couple of other USCHO links for your Wednesday afternoon viewing pleasure.

Frozen Four Preview: Wisconsin Harkens Back
Frozen Four Blog

NHL Releases Final Central Scouting Rankings

NHL Central Scouting released it's final Draft rankings literally minutes ago and there is a handful of Badgers/future Badgers listed. The 2010 NHL Draft will be in held in Los Angeles, California this summer.

The highest ranked Badger is 2010 incoming recruit Jason Clark who is currently playing at Shattuck St. Marys High School in Fairbult, MN. Clark, a 6'2, 180 lb forward is listed by Central Scouting as the #81 ranked North American prospect. Clark had a solid season for Shattuck recording a line of 23-23-46 in 54 games.

The next future Badger listed is 2011 recruit Brendan Woods who is playing for the Chicago Steel of the USHL. Woods, a 6'2, 188 lb forward is listed by Central Scouting as the #83 ranked North American prospect. Woods, who has had to overcome a pre-season broken leg, has recorded 10 points in 34 games for the Steel this season. Woods, who's father is Washington Capitals assistant coach Bob Woods looks like a real nice pick up for the 2011 class.

Current Badger defenseman John Ramage is the next player listed by Central Scouting. The 6'1, 184 lb defenseman from St. Louis has had an outstanding freshman season for the Badgers far exceeding expectations. Ramage, who went un-drafted in his first year of eligibility is listed by Central Scouting as the #131 best available North American player. He was ranked #187 during the mid-term rankings. Ramage has put up some numbers, 12 points in 39 games, but the best part of his game is being a lock down defenseman. He's as good or better than advertised.

Also of note, former Stevens Point defenseman and current Green Bay Gamblers defenseman Aaron Harstad checks in at #94 on the latest Central Scouting Rankings. Harstad, a Colorado College recruit is a really, really nice player. He would have looked very good in cardinal and white but it's always great to see Wisconsin born players advancing to the next level, except when they go to Minnesota.