In the past seven days, tUMD Athletics has retired the number 14 in two different sports, for two vastly different reasons.
Last night at the first intermission, UMD men’s hockey celebrated former player, Hobey Baker winner, and current men’s hockey staff member Bill Watson. In front of his family, his work family, and his Bulldog family, Watson gave a speech and the retirement banner was unveiled. Alex Iafallo currently wears #14 and I would assume gets grandfathered in, Mariano Rivera-style.
Last weekend during homecoming, UMD softball honored the memory of Mandy Matula with a jersey retirement as well as the establishment of the 1 Four Mandy Matula Fund to support UMD softball. Mandy was killed in May 2013, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, who later committed suicide. The circumstances of her jersey retirement are both sickening and saddening, and my heart goes out to her family, teammates, and friends.
I hope all you RWD readers, as you celebrate a Bulldog legend, will take a moment and think of Mandy. I wish I could say something else, give some kind of advice or call to action, but I really don’t know what to say. No one should be hurt by someone they loved, even after the relationship is over, and no one should hurt someone they love or once loved, even if that person doesn’t love them anymore. It seems simple and obvious to say that, but we all know in reality, it’s not.
When RWD comrade, rabid Bulldog fan, and hockey mom extraordinaire Dawn tweeted her DIY hockey furniture a few weeks ago, I thought it was so cool I wanted to share it with you all. Dawn is a great lady and lifelong Bulldog fan, and you know she’s raising her son right because his dream is to lace ‘em up for tDogs. Clearly a genius kid. His peewee team scored lots of goals last year to help raise money for Top Shelf to Food Shelf, which is coming up in a few weeks!
She told me the lamp is made from a lamp kit, a hollow composite stick, and scraps of sticks from the wooden sticks she used for the bed below. Somehow she found one brand new glove, and she got the shade at Goodwill.
For the bed, she found a free headboard and upcycled it by replacing the spindles with old wooden sticks.
This is so freaking cool. There are so many broken hockey sticks in this crazy, mixed-up world, and there’s no reason for them to end up in landfills or dumps or Lake Springfield alongside Homer’s silo of pig crap.
tUMD 4, Tipping Cows 5 (OT)/tUMD 6, Tipping Cows 2
tUMD 1, Racist Mascots 2 (OT)/tUMD 1, Racist Mascots 0
To get this out of the way early, I wasn’t able to follow the women’s games this weekend, other than via text updates from my friend and via Twitter. Here is the game commentary I got:
B: Only my wife would glare at a Duluth fan for wearing Gopher colors lmfao
B: “Why are you glaring at that lady in the wheelchair?” “She’s wearing Gopher colors.” “Um, that’s a Duluth sweatshirt.”
Me: We’re losing 2-0 to the cows. How are we doing in GF?
B: 0-0 beginning of two, but mostly… [wife] didn’t get me a beer so I had to go back to the lobby, get cash, and buy my own.
Me: That’s mean!
B: Oh good god-you just scored and it was the [poopiest] hockey goal I have ever seen.
B: Our goalie tried to beat your forward to the puck and it didn’t happen, so she was lying on the ice halfway to the blue line and you scored on the empty net lmfao
Me: Sounds like when Stalock was here.
(the next day)
B: I’m at a funeral.
So, there’s my coverage of the weekend, women’s hockey-wise. So glad I can count on my vast network of arena reporters to pick me up when I’m not able to cover the games.
Friday night I went to the men’s home opener. The new video is pretty legit but I do miss tDogs coming out to “Can’t Hold Us.” The student section was full, and they did… ok. They started out loud, but the first period and a half was an absolute black hole of terribleness that defied the laws of thermodynamics and destroyed the energy in the arena. Other than Dominato’s shorthanded goal during Osterberg’s major, there was nothing to get excited about. Once it was 4-1, all hope was lost… but then subsequently located after Carson Soucy and Alex #IAFALTO scored within two minutes of each other to put the Dogs within one. The Dogs dominated the end of the period (despite a “goaltender interference” penalty after scoring… was Dom interfering with Williams’s pouting?) and I wished it could have lasted a bit longer. The third period had us all on pins and needles and then Karson Kuhlman tied the game up with some fancy moves, making it THE FIRST TIME IN BULLDOG HISTORY two people named C(K)arson scored in the same game. tDogs lost after taking a QUESTIONABLE penalty in OT and then failing to play any semblance of defence on the PK.
Saturday I had planned to go to Mankato with Biddy, but I woke up not feeling it. Mostly I woke up feeling rather panicked about getting my homework done, getting enough hours in at work, and getting enough sleep while I was out of town, and I called an audible and decided to stay in Duluth for the night. I watched the game on TV and the Dogs came out flat and let in the first goal and sucked on the power play and all that, and then just blew Mankato’s doors off in the third period. tUMD had three SHG this past weekend, two from Dominato alone, and left the cows looking like… well, cows. I mean, have you ever seen a cow? They look really dumb. There you go.
Sunday I went down to tX to see Pearl Jam with Biddy, which was fun. I saw one of my longest-running friends, Brian, and also this other Brian. The show was the second greatest experience I’ve had in that building. Almost as good as tDogs winning the National Championship. And you all know how amazing that was, so you can imagine how I felt.
Speaking of Imagine,
tUMD 3, Rodents 4/tUMD 3, Racist Mascots 0
tUMD 0, Rodents 3/tUMD 4, Rodents 3 (SO)
Remember when I panicked about goaltending? It was last week. Perhaps I overreacted. A little.
I didn’t see Friday afternoon’s men’s game, but I did feel like barfing when I saw via Twitter the score was 3-0. Most people seemed to feel satisfied with the 4-3 “moral victory” almost-comeback, but I’m not thrilled. I don’t want the Rodents to win any game, ever. Even against other enemies such as UND or St, Cloooud, I just hope for an 0-0 tie where everyone tears their ACLs and/or gets suspended for general goonery. So, I’m going to be disappointed and that’s that.
Sunday I watched and enjoyed the game. I guess the Potato Farmers/Racist Mascots are bad now or something. Undisciplined at least. They seemed to enjoy negating their own PPs. I enjoyed it as well. It was nice of My9 to stream the game for us; one of the benefits of living in a small town, I suppose. Dominato dominated both games, McNeely earned a shut-out, and the weekend was salvaged.
I went to both women’s games this weekend. Friday I was late, as usual, but unlike the previous Friday, we actually had shots on goal. Yay!!! Unfortunately, no goals actually happened and those pesky rats walked away with a shutout. Saturday, I was late again, but only by a few minutes. Shortly after my arrival, tUMD took the lead after a goal by Emma Stauber. In the second period, Jenna McParland made it 2-0 on a delayed PP (which, let’s discuss, I don’t like the rule that if you score on a delayed PP, you do not get an offensive zone face-off), and tDogs almost made it to the end of the second with the shutout, but the vermin scored. tDogs got a PP early in the 3rd and Michelle Lowenhielm cashed in, but the Goofs made it 3-2 halfway through the period, and then a knucklepuck got by Black to tie the game. tDogs withstood a *cough*convenient*cough* Goofer PP to end the 3rd and start overtime, and made it to the shootout, which UMD won in 4 rounds, with goals from Meghan Huertas and Katerina Mrazova.
I would like to point out I spelled Lowenhielm and Mrazova from memory. Applauding myself over here.
This weekend the women are on the road to the vast wasteland to the west (wester than Buttmidji), and the men have a home/away series with the Purple Cows.
Now I would like to point out that I would rather write a boring and tardy blog post than study, but I can’t think of anything else to say, so I guess it’s back to the grind. See you all at the games this weekend!
Comrades, both of our squads are about to undergo a vermin infestation of epic proportions. The Pied Piper of Ridder Arena is bringing his rodents to swarm our beloved AMSoil Arena, and I’ve received word that South Bend is infested with more of these terrible creatures! While their fans are all busy humping some sad old water bottle Michigan’s football team discarded, tUMD shall launch a sneak attack and rid the land of these pests.
For the men, this will be a difficult series, as everyone gets up for the Bulldogs. Teams tend to bring their A-game against tDogs, as for teams like the Gophers, a win against us is their national championship. While it can be tempting to get distracted by the amped up players on the other bench, tUMD just needs to focus on playing their own game, their own way, and dictating the tempo.
I am sure Professional Journalist Extraordinaire Tom Chorske will be DELIGHTED to see the Bulldogs and his favorite player, Austin Farley, again. I’m sure he’s already glowing about the kind things I’m saying to him on Twitter. I simply cannot wait for his measured, unbiased, mature, thoughtful, and intelligent commentary on this sporting competition. Wait… this game won’t be televised by FSN? I thought those stripey little buggers were ratings gold! I guess Chorske will have to sputter and bluster to himself.
Since the Star Tribune, other than Reusse, slobbers over the Gophers, they had to write a puff piece about what a sad panda little baby Rau is after failing, yet again, to win a real national championship, and how he “decided” to come back instead of leaving for the bright lights of the ECHL. It appears he went to Ireland this summer to, I don’t know, bury a pot of gold or a push broom re-bristling or something. I assume most of the Irish people were feeling a bit like Mr. Burns on ether upon the sight of the little fellow.
Or, I don’t know, maybe they were afraid of him, considering his roster pic this year:
As for the women, I hope that we’ve made some adjustments after this past weekend, because as tough as Wisconsin is, the Goofs will be tougher. Stealing a game from the Gophers would be simply glorious, but I expect, at a bare bones absolute rock bottom minimum, tUMD will be competitive the entire weekend. I look forward to seeing you all at the game, and seeing a few first Bulldog goals for our Swedes, perhaps?
Let’s do what Carl Spackler could not, ladies and gents!
tUMD 1, Red Menace 4/tUMD 2, Red Menace 6
tUMD 4, Canadian Goon Squad 2
I mean it. Panic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really, I can’t be the only one overreacting to a small sample size of results which are unfavorable.
Let’s start with the women. This was not a competitive weekend. Granted, there were 2 ENGs scored in Friday’s game, one of which was a face-off fluke, so that score doesn’t tell the whole story, but it took way, way, way too long to get the offense going (1 shot in the first period! What!?), and that’s not just because Wisconsin is fairly stifling defensively. Saturday’s game was… I don’t know how to say this without being rude, but it was not a good goaltending performance. We scored first, and then in the final two minutes of the period, Wisconsin scored two perfectly savable goals. After an excellent performance on Friday, Black let in 5 goals in two periods on Saturday and got the hook for Grapp, who only surrendered one. That inconsistency scares me. The other main problem I see is communication: there were too many bad line changes and Wisconsin scored a SHG on Friday after a few of our players ran into each other. The series made me want to bang my head against the wall. And it also confirmed that tUMD is no longer among the elite in college hockey. Sure, we are still better than most teams, but if we’re not competitive against Wisconsin, we’re not elite.
You may be wondering why I’m panicking about a win from the men. A win is great, right? Ok, I get that they’ve barely practiced, and I also get that tUMD put up 57 SOG in the game so there wasn’t a lack of effort or opportunities created. tUMD also took advantage of both their own major PP (thanks to a knee-on-knee hit on Osterberg, status unknown, probably called a diver by Chorske) and Lakehead’s (thanks to Dominato plowing into their goalie), finally taking the lead in the 3rd period. I suppose I should be glad we didn’t get shut out by our Canadian Goon Squad, ala UNO, but this had better be the best week of practice ever to get ready for the vermin infestation to the South. The “Twolves” had one goal on one shot to start the game, and then every puck that went NEAR McNeely scared me. One the Finn came in, I calmed down a bit, but we were trailing for far, far too long in this game.
Now I am going to go panic about an exam I have in 12 minutes. We’ll discuss the vermin at a later time.
Comrades, this is me right now:
It’s opening night for tUMD women’s hockey, the men have an exhibition on Monday, and!!!!
My tickets for the men’s games are finally here!!! Way to get them in just before OT, tUMD!
You’ll notice something interesting about the above image. This post marks the official launch of the @runninwiththedogs Instagram account. I suggest you follow. I promise no duckface or excessive selfies. Probably not many selfies at all. I’ll post game pics, other hockey related pics, and fun things to do/see or places to go in Duluth/the Northland.
Let’s go Doggies! Puck drops in just over an hour on the home season! I’ll see you all at AMSoil.