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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.

Redemption Song

10 February 2014

tUMD 3, No Names 4/tUMD 3 (SO), No Names 2

Now that tOSU has been swept by Wisconsin and tUMD has 2 points on the weekend, home ice is assured! The question of our opponent remains: will it be Bemidji or Ohio State? Does it matter? We will beat either, I am confident.

I missed Saturday’s game because I had to work, but of course I was checking in. It was so exciting to see the Dogs go up by 1, then 2, then 3. Captain Jamie Kenyon (who will play her final games at AMSoil Arena in the upcoming WCHA quarterfinals) had two goals and Sid the Kid had a PPG. Unfortunately, Denmark did not have an Olympic team and UND got to keep Josefine Jakobsen, who had the game-tying and game-winning goals as UND scored 4 without an answer from our Doggies.

Sunday was the opposite. I headed down to the game right on time… if it started at 3:37, which it did not. Stupid metric conversion. tUMD went down 1-0 on some kind of defensive breakdown or something. I don’t know, it was disappointing, especially since tUMD had just had a scoring chance of their own. UND scored again on a 5×3 PP that was complete BS. Well, the second penalty, to McParland, was BS. There was seriously no reason for the refs to call it, McParland was going for the puck. Very frustrating, and for awhile it felt like a 2 goal lead would be insurmountable. I worried about tUMD’s chances of scoring even one goal, given the lack of offensive flow. Ashleigh Brykaliuk had no such concerns, and scored a short-handed goal on the same penalty kill, beating Lexie Shaw and two UND defenders. She’s a real sharpshooter, and I love it.

The pace of the game really picked up in the third period, as did the physicality. I’d like to tell critics of women’s hockey that it is not officiated like pumpkin pushing. There is physical play, sometimes rather heated physical play (McParland and a UND player were in a bit of a shoving match in the corner at one point). It’s not like every puck battle is penalized if the players touch in any way. I promise it is possible to enjoy hockey without the Ben Marshalls of the world circling like sharks, looking for any chance they have to blindside an opponent with a shoulder to the head.

Hannah Bramm tied the game with four minutes remaining and the intensity ramped up from there. Each team had some great chances in overtime, but the goaltending and defense were sharp and yet again tUMD went to a shootout. tUMD has gone to overtime six times, and all six times have gone to a shootout. Look at me, whipping out stats like I’m writing a real gamer. Anyway, the first two shooters missed, then Brykaliuk scored a beauty, and then Andrea Dalen scored for the no-names. McParland scored on her attempt, and Black shut the door on Jakobsen, sealing the win for the Dogs!

After the game, tUMD honored seniors Madison Kolls and Jamie Kenyon. The bright side of having only two seniors is we get so many of our great players back. The down side is we’re still losing our captain and workhorse in Kenyon and a transfer student who showed great flexibility and promise in Kolls.

I also got to spend a little time with my friend Gabs, who gives excellent coverage of women’s college and international hockey. She recently moved to Grand Forks from New Jersey, which might seem puzzling to most, but not to an avid hockey fan. She attends UND and was traveling with the team in some sort of official capacity, so I was lucky to get an intermission break to hang out with her. Yay! Please read what she writes, it’s all very good.

What’s New Pussycats?

7 February 2014

Whoa whoa whoa whoa.

What in the wide world of sports is this?

We LOST to these guys. They have THREE WINS, and they produced this monstrosity, and they are murdering our pairwise worse than they are murdering this song, which is terrible and came out well before any of these guys (Scott “Ron Jeremy” Owens notwithstanding) were even zygotes. Besides, Corey Hart plays for the Mariners now. He’s moved on, we’ve all moved on, THOSE SUNGLASSES ARE REALLY STUPID.

Speaking of Scott Owens, who would have ever guessed he’d outlast ol’ Gwoz? It seems like CC must be satisfied with mediocrity.

Losing this weekend, really, even losing a single conference point this weekend, would be so dishonorable we’d all have to accept discommendation from the Klingon empire. Losing this weekend is so bad, RWD Army Comrade Jon threatened to write a guest post if we do. That must be one heck of a horrible guest post roiling inside his brain.

We Can’t Stop

3 February 2014

tUMD 5, Barbaros 2/tUMD 3, Barbaros 1

Hello everyone, this is my first official post actually written on tUMD’s campus. Very fancy, no? Or something. I am in the Ven Den right now, and if you have attended tUMD at any time in the last half century, I promise you it is exactly the same except for fancier vending machines. Also, the same geodes are still on display in Heller Hall.

Also after laughing hysterically about the Glue Factory post, I have decided that WMU will be called the Barbaros from here on out. I don’t care if no one else laughed about the horse videos, I did.

We have two orders of business to take care of before we talk about the games. First, we have a new victory song, courtesy of comrades-in-arms Dan and Biddco.

It’s a bit lower tempo than our previous victory songs (Party in the USA, Tik Tok, etc), but it’s very appropriate.

Also, this occurred:

DaBugz11 is Farley’s twitter, if you didn’t know.
So that chapter is closed. Although that’s a really weird hashtag.

HUGE weekend for tDogs. Way to put those ponies out to pasture! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, because haven’t I been saying all along we have tons of talent and just need it to come together? I am seriously always right. It’s just amazing. Except for that small error I made in the last post. Never mind.

How did this team get so deep that our third line is Iafallo-Toninato-Krause? And that’s without Austin Farley in the lineup! I mean, seriously, I blinked, and this team became almost as loaded at forward as our national championship team. This is very exciting. All of a sudden everyone wants to talk about the Bulldogs. It’s a lovely thing, although it’s also nice to fly under the radar.

tUMD has 3 out of 4 NCHC awards this week (and probably could have had a fourth, except I assume the conference didn’t want to let us sweep the awards), which… means nothing, but that’s great. Congrats to Willie Corrin for his first multiple point game and his first conference award, and to Austyn Young, getting his first goal. If I was the UND SID, I’d be spamming the crap out of everyone’s Twitter feed with statistics about how tUMD is 800-72-1 with guys named Austi(y)n in the lineup. Since I am not, let me take a moment first to rejoice that I am not, and then continue.

I can’t even really be too sad about the PP being sort of not great, because of course we’re missing a key PP guy in Farley. It’s like complaining about the Wild PP when Parise, Spurgeon, and Koivu were all down. Wait, people did that? Must have been Gopher/Wild hybrid fans. Life for all of us would probably also be a lot better if Caleb Herbert stopped taking penalties, but he did still have three points on the weekend.

CC is coming to town this weekend, and we absolutely, positively, must take care of business against them because they are a PWR killer right now. And the PWR is now relevant to us. So we have to care. Also, the students are back in the house and it had better be rockin’, or I am going to have to burn down the school.

Winds of Change

1 February 2014

tUMD 5, Bemidji 3/tUMD 2, Bemidji 1

So, I never wrote about the games in Wisconsin last weekend because I was just too sad about them. I mean, I know Alex Rigsby was back from her injury and I know we couldn’t fill 4 lines or 3 D-pairings, but it’s still hard to see this talented team score only a single goal on the weekend. What is there to write about?

This weekend there’s plenty to write about, with a big sweepity sweep sweep sweep in Bemidji! Six BIG points get us essentially to home ice, although if we lost all our remaining games and tOhio State got 17 of 18 points available, we’d get edged out by them. I think. (tUMD’s website says we’ve clinched home ice, but if that’s the case, I’m missing something. Edit: tUMD issued a correction. We need one win or one tOSU loss.) That’s not going to happen, of course.

On Friday, tDogs went up 3-0 but had to hang on as the game got as close as 4-3 before Meghan Huertas scored on the empty net for her second goal of the night. Ashleigh Brykaliuk (I can type that without checking it first!) also had two goals, including a shorty, and Jenna McParland had a power play goal. I think we’re going to see this type of a pattern from here on out, with the Dogs jumping out to early leads and digging down deep to hang on as the short bench wears them down.

Tonight, tUMD had another goal from Ashleigh Brykaliuk (she is really killing it lately!) and then Zoe Hickel had a goal disallowed for some stupid BS reason, but she got another one on the PP. Bemidji finally got on the board, ending the Blackout (Dan’s term for a Kayla Black shutout, which is genius) with the extra attacker. Apparently the Beavers almost scored another goal as time expired but that’s according to Jack Hittinger, Bemidji’s beat writer.

I really hope tDogs can finish strong and make a good showing at the WCHA tournament. I know there’s no auto-bid (I am stupid, of course there’s an auto-bid, thank you Megan!) and the PWR doesn’t move that much, but there’s so much talent on this team and so much hope for the years to come, I’m staying positive!


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