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The Ides of May

15 May 2014

Ok! I guess I never got around to posting about the Fab Four tournament! But who cares?

Some things happened, like Justin Fontaine and the Wild got eliminated from the playoffs. Sad trombone et al.

Adam Krause will captain the Bulldog men next year, backed up by Justin Crandall and A and Dubs. Emma Stauber and Zoe Hickel will captain the women, and Brienna Gillanders and Jenna McParland are assistant captains. Emma is the first Duluth native to captain the Bulldog women. And of course she’s hockey royalty.

Both teams are going to be awesome next year. Life is good. It’s snowing here. We’ll talk more later.

You Shall Know Our Velocity

19 March 2014

Comrades! It’s almost time for the Fab Four tournament! (I know it’s called something other than that, but I totally don’t even care. Fab Four it is!) I am very excited, even though tUMD is not there, and even though this tournament is brand new and we have no idea how it will go, and even though 2/3 of the population of North Dakota is barreling down upon the Twin Cities in their mobile homes as I type.

I am excited for the tournament because I do think it will be fun, and I think the NCHC knows the tournament needs to be awesome, so I’m going to be optimistic here. Of course I was optimistic tUMD would make the Fab Four and that was like being optimistic the Titanic had enough lifeboats. Alas, alack, etc. I am also excited because I have so much going on! It’s going to be a very busy weekend. And I don’t have to work or go to school! Glory be!

Tomorrow we are heading down (driving a car, not a house, because we are civilized people) while Bruce Ciskie watches my cats. That’s right, the VOX of the UMD men’s hockey team is going to feed my cats. I am a big deal. Or maybe just have a really nice friend. Could be both. Tomorrow night we have dinner with team RWD and then Cards Against Humanity with Dirty, Biddy, and some Tech losers.

Friday I have a morning meeting with The Beard, RWD Reader Emeritus, then lunch with The Beard and my dad. I’m meeting up with my former co-workers, and then there are two hockey games, and then who knows?

Saturday I have brunch with more family and another Reader Emeritus, Bruce (not Ciskie), then more hockey, and then who knows? Again.

Sunday, back to Duluth. Monday, let’s not even think about it. Let’s just focus on the weekend ahead! I assume I will see you all there. Let’s see if we can make this tournament into something fun. Come on Target Center, don’t suck like you do every other time you host hockey!

Sigh. Bulldogs, why couldn’t you have won two more games? It’s just not going to be the same without you.

Broken Home

16 March 2014

tUMD 2, Barbaros 3/tUMD 3, Barbaros 4

A quick update to last night’s debacle: I missed two periods of the game because I had to work. So, it is my fault we lost. Also, we didn’t get into any trouble. Granted, we weren’t being quite as crazy as the night before, but still. I also got a visit from the athletic director, who wanted to make sure we weren’t being bothered and assured us he wants fans to be loud.

So, I see I was correct in extrapolating our “lose if we don’t score first” statistic to broader applications. Hooray for me. Why couldn’t I have been wrong for once? Well, now I get $34.50 off of next year’s tickets.

How can a team be so bad at home? Almost three times as many conference wins on the road than at home. Some absolutely disastrous poopshow home games among the losses (St. Cloud, UNDerpants). I don’t understand. Shouldn’t tDogs be more comfortable at home? I always am. I like sleeping in my own bed, hanging out on my own couch, raiding my own refrigerator. When I’m on the road, I don’t sleep as well, I’m not as productive, I spend too much money, etc. So you’d think tUMD would be the same way. Apparently they have lumpy mattresses and eat only dorm food when they’re at home, and have gourmet dinners and Sleep Number beds on the road.

I’m sad to see this season end, as I always am. I’m hopeful for the future, as I always am, but we’ve really got some fantastic returning players and some top-notch recruits.

I’m kind of out of things to say for the moment, but I hope I’ll see many of you at the Fab Four next weekend!

The Price of Admission

14 March 2014

The game… ugh. That was just garbage. And now my own words from this afternoon have me all freaked out. The game’s irrelevant right now. I’m all fired up for a different reason.

I pay the same amount of money as everyone else in my section to attend Bulldog games, as do the three other people who with with me. We are loud, we have fun, we are silly, and as a side effect, we sometimes annoy people. We’re not screaming obscenities. We would love other fans to join in, make noise, and cheer for the team. Especially because the arena’s a morgue because the students are on spring break. (Hint, maybe $1 student tickets would bring in a few more.)

I do not appreciate being treated like an opposing fan in my own team’s arena. I don’t devote time and money to UMD athletics so that someone can swear at me because they barge on down to their seats when the puck is in play. I don’t cheer and have a good time with my friends so that someone can stand up and scream at us while the game is going on, telling us we’re not cute, we’re not clever, and we need to go back to the student section.

A lot of the issues we come across could be mitigated if AMSoil Arena had enough ushers to position one at the top of every row. If that seems like overkill for 8 rows of people in the upper deck, I assure you it is not. There are people constantly coming and going, standing in the aisles and looking at their ticket in confusion while the game goes on, climbing over 16 people in their row while the game goes on, tween girls darting in and out to talk to their friends. This even sometimes goes on during the 13 seconds of time we actually have an usher at the top of the row, because some of the ushers are too passive to intervene. This results in us policing the aisle ourselves, which we really should not have to do, and results in confrontations from fans who are angry we… want to watch the game. The athletic department did make STOP/GO signs for the ushers to hold (a suggestion I believe came from Biddy and Dan), which is a great start, but the signs don’t do much good if they’re in the hands of an usher seven sections away.

While we couldn’t get an usher to patrol our section if our row was on fire, we DID get a cop standing behind us for the third period! Thanks, UMD Athletics. I appreciate the respect. I am glad all the money I spend on tickets, concessions, jerseys, UMD gear, and TUITION; the time I spend writing about Bulldog hockey when our beat writer barely does; the miles I’ve driven to home and away games and the businesses in Canal Park I’ve patronized; and the time and money spent by the rest of my family and friends in the same fashion have resulted in a cop standing behind me, monitoring me, because I’m cheering too loud. And if I’m not proactive about the situation, could possibly result in further harassment by UMD staff. I know it’s happened before: some old codger complains about a too loud fan, and suddenly that fan has to move.

I will not renew my season tickets, not spend another dime on UMD Athletics, and shutter this blog if there are any further consequences from this one complete jackwagon standing up during play, turning around, and screaming insults at us multiple times simply for cheering for our team. In the end that will probably hurt me 1000 times more than it would ever hurt UMD Athletics, because I devote way, way too much of my own resources to sports, but I’m not going to go quietly, and it’s not going to reflect well on tUMD. That’s not a threat, just something I’d feel was necessary, and also it’s not a threat because I’m hardly intimidating or powerful.

I don’t anticipate that will happen. tUMD’s athletic director and a friend in the arena staff are supportive, other people in our section are supportive, other fans and staff are supportive, I sincerely doubt there will be any real consequences from this incident (other than a rage-stroke from the gentleman in question), but I do know other fans who have been made to feel unwelcome by arena staff and UMD athletics staff, simply for being loud and wild and crazy about Bulldog hockey.

If you’ve read this far, all you have to take from this is: cheer louder, cheer harder, get crazy, and support your team. The more people who go ape over Bulldog hockey, the less power people like the ones we encountered tonight will have. No one can get mad at four fans for being loud, if the whole arena is being loud. I’m as devoted to Bulldog hockey as ever, and I am not going to let one delusional curmudgeon and a bunch of clueless idiots who can’t read a ticket or practice common sense ruin things for me.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand scene.

PS win tomorrow + Sunday you guys ok?

Cumulative Properties

14 March 2014

I probably need to stop waiting to post game recaps. I mean, Friday’s game post abstract was written in my head as I was walking home. I was going to call it “In the Meadow We Can Build a Snowman,” since we scored 8 goals. I got home and I was tired and decided not to write the recap and then tUMD went and crapped the bed on Saturday and the entire narrative changed.

So let’s talk about Saturday, and how it applies to this weekend. Everyone loves to point out that tUMD is 0-1000000000000000000000-0 when the opponent scores first. It’s a somewhat ridiculous stat, and tUMD is somewhat ridiculous for buying into it. I don’t know how else the situation would get so bad. They give up a goal, decide the game is over, and then can’t make anything happen. A few people seem to hang on for a bit, and sometimes tDogs tie things up, but in the end, the defeatists win.

It’s important for tUMD to score first this weekend (and in subsequent weekends, and always), but it’s also important for tUMD to find out a way to come from behind and win. There’s simply no reason why tDogs can’t go from down a goal or two to a win. I mean, against a team that actually cares, not Miami.

I fully expect tUMD to win this series and go to the Fab Four. I’m not speaking from a place of pessimism, when I say this next bit. I am concerned about what will happen if tUMD lets the Barbaros score first tonight. You see, if the Barbaros score first, and tDogs lose, that also means tDogs are behind in the series. Is that going to be analogous to letting an opponent score first in a game? If so, we’re doomed. Dooooooooooooooooooomed. Like the Light Brigade, only worse, because who even cares about them? They’re all dead.

Well, after all that hand-wringing, now I’ve got three hours to wait until our fate is decided. Or isn’t. We’ll see.

Bright and Early

8 March 2014

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

tUMD saw their season come to an end at the hands of UMTC in the Final Faceoff last night, despite leading 1-0 at one point in the game. Of course I also have this theory that the Gophers sometimes allow their opponents to hold leads, in order to either practice playing from behind, or to wage some kind of psychological warfare on their opponents, giving them just enough hope to make defeat that much more devastating.

I don’t like seeing an early exit for a program that used to be dominant. I don’t like the trend of this team vs. the other elite teams in college hockey. Do not get me wrong, we are still a good program. But we are not on the rise, and if we do not step up our recruiting in a MAJOR way, we are going to fall farther and farther behind UND, UMTC, and UW. This program has five national championships. We should be competing for a 6th right now.

We only lose two seniors (although Jamie Kenyon is irreplaceable), and we get Brigette Lacquette back, so there’s no reason we can’t get back on track next season. I expect great things from these women next year and I know they have the capability to really shine in the league. It means beating UND, UMTC, and UW, and it means taking care of business against the underlings of the league. I’m really looking forward to next season already, but I’m still sad this one had to end.

Congratulations, women, on a good season and yet another Final Face-off appearance. Extra congratulations to Jenna McParland, All-WCHA 3rd team, and Lara Stalder, bronze medalist and All-WCHA 3rd and rookie teams! And, my biggest congratulations to the All-Academic Team honorees, Sofia Carlstrom (??), Alivia del Basso (Exercise Science), Marie Delarbre (??), Brienna Gillanders (Physical Education), Zoe Hickel (Communications), Jordan Krause (Biochemistry), Jamie Kenyon (Mathematics), Emma Stauber (Exercise Science), and Tea Villila (Community Health)!

Obligatory Post

7 March 2014

Final Face-off and final series of the regular season start tonight for the women and men, respectively. tUMD women take on the UMTC juggernaut, and tUMD men take on Gappy McTooth and his rag tag bunch of streaky players.

Really I’m just posting because I posted a new banner. Thanks for the idea, Jack!

Oh right, also, recruit Joey Anderson’s brother Mike committed to tUMD today. Yet another great set of brothers to come to tUMD recently, along with the Crandalls, the Connollys, etc.

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