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NCHC Frozen Faceoff, Year 4

20 March 2017

BEST FAB FOUR YET!!!!!!!! (Here’s links to my 2015 and 2016 recaps. I guess I didn’t do one for 2014.)

Friday we arrived early, because Priority Ticketholders like us were allowed to get in half an hour before the proles. They didn’t seem super prepared for the early arrivals as the souvenir stand was still unpacking, and there seemed to have been a small fire in concessions, as the concourse was smoky. Here is a terrible panorama shot I took, which includes my dad.

targetcenter wide

We took advantage of the Priority Ticketholders’ lounge throughout the weekend. It was a nice perk – shorter lines for drinks, a full service bar, a place to sit and hang out comfortably, and most importantly, NO LINE FOR THE BATHROOM. It also had a countdown clock that let us know when it was game time, so we could make our way back to our seats before intros/puck drop. Or within a reasonable amount of time.

tUMD’s game against Western started out a little rough. They ended up with an early 3×5 PK. Andy Murray called what was likely the world’s earliest timeout, and in fact I can say without a doubt the earliest timeout not directly caused by a giving up several goals. There didn’t seem to be a point to it as tUMD successfully killed both penalties, and then some stuff happened, and then Toninato scored on the PP! Dom is coming on strong at the perfect time, it’s really exciting. Western unfortunately scored to tie up the game, but tDogs answered back 24 seconds later.

For most of the period, I was sitting at the end of the arena, awaiting my chance at fame and fortune in some sort of dance competition. The opponent: some fellow from the WMU band. The song: Usher’s “Yeah!” The moves: Elaine Benes-worthy. And I lost, too! Shameful. They said to be crazy, I was crazy. Dance like no one’s watching, indeed. Life’s too short to worry about what thousands of people think of you. The reaction was mixed. It was slightly unfortunate that I was 1. wearing a very distinct jersey 2. wearing very distinct glasses and 3. sporting very distinct hair, because then people kept approaching me, but only with good-natured jocularity. Also, if you were in the arena at the time, you are to blame for this loss as much as me. YOU ARE ALL CULPABLE.

Something weird happened that appeared to be a Western goal and it was not. I don’t know why. I don’t care, because it wasn’t a goal. Then they scored for real, it was very unfortunate. Then Alex Iafallo and his silky mitts thin mints gino bingo sauce scored. I believe there is a Bible verse about this goal. Matthew 19:24: And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a hockey puck to enter into the net through the opening Alex Iafallo doth haveth. Look it up.

 In the 3rd, Parker Mackay added another goal to allow us to breathe a little. Adam Johnson made WMU look silly on the play. With the goalie pulled, Jared Thomas scored his 3rd of the year from fairly far out (things are fuzzy at this point, that was 2 days ago as I write this), and tUMD secured its spot in the championship game for the second year in a row! That was great news since the runner up in every previous NCHC final had gone on to win the championship the following year. It’s almost like it was destined…

Denver and UND played a really boring and stupid 1-0 game. Zzzz. I spent most of my time correcting UND fans on the name of their mascot. Some dumb old person took my photo so she could I guess have a record of the person annoying the crap out of her at the game. She was not at all discreet about it so I saw the picture. I looked good. It was a zoom in of my face. That is weird. I took a very invasive photo of her husband, and then of herself, since she was afraid to speak to me when I asked her why she was taking my photo. These people showed up with like 6 seconds left in the first period of the tUMD-WMU game and insisted on getting into their EXACT SEATS instead of taking the open seats at the end of the aisle and sorting it out later. People are very stupid when they leave the North Dakota for the Big City, I guess.

Saturday morning I got up and ran the Hot Dash 10 Mile, repping the NCHC as part of my reign as Fan of the Year. When the nude photos of me from 1984 emerge, I will be replaced by Dan.

It was 33F and that was what I wore because I am The King in the North.

kinginthenorth

I chose to wear a different jersey, different glasses, and a different hairstyle in order to put the Dance Mania situation behind me. (It didn’t work, I’m just that memorable looking! Who knew.) We attended part of the WMU-DU dullness, then left to get food. I stopped off to visit the downtown Macy’s store, which was closing the following day. (Passing Dan Molenaar [I think, it might have been Osterberg, sometimes I can’t tell them apart] and an Alice Cooper/Tommy Lee hybrid on the way!) I worked there for a year and a half while I was in community college before transferring to tUMD, and I wanted to see it one more time before it closed. Bad idea. It was sad. I had to drown my sorrows in a ginger ale and some tater tots at the Depot, while watching people hit cars while trying to parallel park. It was so entertaining. At one point, 4 Bulldogs players walked in (healthy or unhealthy scratches) saw us, and walked out. Or saw there weren’t any free tables, and walked out. Unsure.

Attending the night game was like attending a Trump rally, but with hockey jerseys. It was not the greatest situation. Admittedly, some of this was of my own doing, since I am trying to help UND fans help themselves by correcting them when they mispronounce “Hawks” as “Sue.” (Soo? Idk.) They struggle to understand. Nevertheless, I persist.

Look, the game was a freaking disaster from an officiating perspective. I saw how it was going to be early on, and tried to just ride the waves of soft calls, face-off mind games, and overall confusion like an adorable sea otter, smashing abalones on my furry belly while floating on my back in the waters off the Kuril Islands of Russia. There was no use in getting angry, because it wasn’t going to change the fact that tUMD had to defend 10 PPs, including 3 5x3s and a major. Eugene Ionesco himself could not have written anything more absurd. He certainly would not have dreamed up a scenario in which tDogs went into the first intermission down a goal, after spending I think like 9 minutes on the PK, after multiple UND players threw punches that went unpunished, and another took a stick blade to Pionk’s groin like he was Tim McCracken because he was mad his precious widdle goalie took a little bit of a hit. Nor could he have scripted that Toninato, Tufte, and Johnson would all score within 58 seconds of each other, less than three minutes into the second period, silencing the green masses. I don’t think anyone liked that I shouted out “HERE’S YOUR UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA DULUTH SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-RINGGGGGGGG” at the top of my lungs, either.

Valiantly, the refs did try to stick to the script, by giving UND another 5×3, which they did manage to capitalize on (shocking!), and we went into the third up a goal. We retired to the lounge, where we had the following discussion:

DA: Who sings that song “99 Tears?”
Me: It’s “96 Tears.”
DA: And who sings it?
Me: ? and the Mysterians.
DA: And how does it go?
Me (miming playing the organ): dut dut dut dut dut dut dut dut 96 tears
DA: Ok so we can sing that when they start crying about the game again. Dut dut dut dut dut dut dut dut 99 tears.
Me: Ok, but it’s 96 tears.

It was a good plan and I may or may not have busted it out at one point during the 3rd. And then things started to go pear-shaped late in the game, as UND got yet another 5×3 on a classic holding-the-stick/hooking play that refs let go all the time because they know both guys are at fault. Naturally, UND tied it up, and the fans were frothing at the mouth as though Hitler himself had come down from the rafters, and we were so salty that we started screaming “5 on 3! Give ’em another!” for stuff like us icing the puck. And in fact, when a penalty was called on UND, we voiced our confusion — shouldn’t the call be on us?? But instead, another call went against UND (guess the refs were afraid the fix was too obvious), and then Joey Anderson deflected the puck in off a UND skate, and then there was less than a minute left in the game and we were still on the PP and UND could do nothing and the game was over and we were JUBILANT.

UMD dominated the all-tournament team and Iafallo was named MVP. They celebrated with the cup while we pounded on the glass, and then many of the players came over and pounded back in celebration. (I see you, glass pounders — it did not go unnoticed that the team leaders were among them.) It was a great effort all around, all weekend, from the goaltending to the penalty kill (Kyle Osterberg blocking shots painfully with both legs and then staying out there and remaining effective) to the fire and passion shown by Toninato when he saw his teammates (especially Iafallo) getting absolutely jobbed by the referees (while getting messed with himself during face-offs FOR NO REASON). tDogs at times didn’t play their technical best or their most defensively sound, but they are playing with determination, fiestiness, and passion. While Saturday’s game was nerve-wracking, the whole weekend was amazing, and I was so happy to bang on the glass til my hands hurt.

If I ever get to a point where I sneer at moments like this, or fail to enjoy them because they’re not a national championship, euthanize me, please. Life isn’t worth living if you can’t enjoy a regular season overtime win, or touch a conference championship trophy, because it isn’t enough.

Doggies win the NCHC Frozen Faceoff! #umdwhat #letsgobulldogs #umdhockey

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tUMD goes to Fargo on Friday to put a couple teams through the woodchipper, starting with tOSU. tBattle of tSmall ts.

woodchipper.gif

With Honors

2 March 2017

The Final Faceoff is almost here! I’m maybe a little bit excited/anxious/terrified. The WCHA announced their awards today, and to say tUMD cleaned up would be underselling the team’s success. Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, Student-Athlete of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, 1x First Team All-WCHA, 2x Second Team All-WCHA, 2x Third Team All-WCHA, 1x All-Rookie Team, and 16x All-Academic Team. That is DOMINANT.

One of my good friends is a professor at UWS (or UW Super, which I cannot type without cringing with fremdschämen), and several of her students are on the women’s hockey team. Since she knows I love hockey, she and I have attended a few of their games together. (Seriously, she is the best, if a student has an event, she will attend it. Games, plays, etc.) She always tells her students that the programs should list their majors, to better emphasize the student in student-athlete, and also to let her students (biology majors) show that not all hockey players major in recreation and tourism or underwater basketweaving.

Schools don’t do enough in general to emphasize what their students are studying. I mean, I understand that, say, Alabama football does not emphasize what their players’ tutors are taking for them, but most athletic departments are not de facto money laundering conduits for rich, shady donors, and their students work very hard to juggle a full load of classes, practices, games, and travel. I did some mild number crunching to produce some colorful graphs to illustrate some of the facts about the WCHA All-Academic team demographics.

The average number of All-Academic team athletes per school was 14.25. Bemidji and UMTC lead the way with 17, but tUMD is right behind them. Both tUMD and Bemidji have almost every single eligible player represented on the team (I didn’t check any other schools). For perspective, most rosters have around 22-25 players (some fewer, duhOSU only has 20, and 8 of them are freshmen, so they still have 75% of their eligible players on the All-Academic Team). This is a fantastic achievement for the WCHA teams!

By position, forwards dominate, but there are also more forwards than defenders on rosters. I didn’t bother to compare whether any position is doing better or worse proportionally, because I just thought of it now. Maybe I will crunch those numbers tomorrow. If I had to guess, goalies would be performing best proportionally. Maybe we’ll see. Goalies and forwards are represented at a slightly higher rate on the team than among the overall population of players, and defenders and hybrids are represented at a slightly lower rate. (Note that this is based on the overall rostered players, not eligible rostered players. That’s too much work.)

I know you’re probably saying “Dohkay, RWD, they’re all exercise science majors.” I know this because someone already said this to me tonight, and I haven’t even published this stupid post! But that’s not true, anyway. I grouped the majors by categories I made up (because listing each individual major looks stupid). If you’re wondering, exercise science falls under “applied science.”

These numbers are sort of jacked up because Mankato, duhOSU, and St. Cloud do not list majors (except tOSU lists Julianna Iafallo’s), and Wisconsin does not list everyone’s major. I guess I can write in “communications” for everyone else. Oh wait, this is not tUMD’s men’s team.

I looked at where the players were from, geographically. Almost 2/3 of the players are from the US. I’m not sure how that stacks up against the percentage of American women playing in the WCHA, but there are more Americans in the WCHA than I expected. The second image shows how the proportion of players on the All-Academic Team compares to the proportion of rostered players from each region. The makeup is pretty similar: Americans slightly underperform, Canadians perform about the same, and Europeans overperform. There are 14 total European women in the WCHA, 12 made the All-Academic Team, and the other 2 are freshmen and thus ineligible. That means 100% of eligible Europeans made the team. Extra congratulations to all the women for whom English is not their preferred language! The third image illustrates the home states/provinces for North American players. It doesn’t say much but I wanted to use that feature in Google Sheets.

Let’s give a virtual standing ovation to the women of the WCHA All-Academic Team! Considering 100% of the schools in the WCHA are party schools, hockey spans both semesters, and women’s hockey players don’t get to fart around in class and sign contracts for millions of dollars when they finally face academic ineligibility, they’re a pretty amazing, persevering bunch!

Cats and Dogs

20 February 2017

tUMD 2, SCSU 1/tUMD 4, SCSU 1
tUMD 2, CC 1/tUMD 2, CC 2 (SOW)

Congratulations to tUMD women on their big sweep this weekend! I’m very pleased. St. Cloud made it tough at times, but the women came through. Unfortunately, Wisconsin did not come through, so tUMD finishes 3rd in the WCHA, and will play SCSU again this weekend. By “weekend,” I mean Thursday, Friday, and hopefully not Sunday. I suppose this is not really that big of a tragedy, as 2nd place would mean playing Buttmidji AGAIN. No thank you. I don’t really like being alternatively bored and annoyed by hockey.

After the game, the team honored their 6 seniors: Crossman, Lindh (junior in eligibility but graduating), Stalder, Brykaliuk, McGovern, and Morin. As Fleisch listed off each player’s accomplishments, the Aaaahj turned to me and said “That’s a lot of talent leaving.” It is. It’s a lot of talent that could have left two years ago, but every single one of them chose to return, and to lead, and to pull others up along the way. Five of the six players scored this weekend – though they still have at least 3 (? have they clinched home ice for the NCAAs? Have they even clinched a spot in the NCAAs? Run some scenarios on BC Interruption’s PWR What-if Calculator and see for yourself.) more games to score in front of the home crowd. (Well, I won’t be there Thursday or Friday, as I will be working. As hard as I am working right now, even.)

So don’t go yet, ladies. Don’t stop til you’ve conquered St. Louis. Do not go gentle into that good off-season. Rage, rage, against single elimination tournaments.

The men, on the other hand, seemed to be playing Penalty Bingo. If you had tripping – hooking – free space – slashing – contact to the head, please come to section 101 to claim your prize. Killing penalties at altitude on Olympic ice is always a good idea. Killing a major penalty in 3×3 4×3 OT at altitude on Olympic ice is freaking genius. Look, tUMD’s PK is Not That Great (although holy crap, in-conference there are some DISASTROUS PK stats for our colleagues), so this was a nice opportunity for them to improve, but like… why. tUMD’s greatest strength is its depth. It’s pretty crappy to get a goal from your 4th line on Friday night and then keep them off the ice while you’re killing penalties (without a top PKer, Sammy Squirrel, due to a case of too many centers, not enough lines) the whole freaking night on Saturday.

I’m not really that mad about it, despite taking 45 minutes to write that paragraph and having it ooze sarcasm like sap from a maple tree in spring. This team is still a great team. They struggled against CC, yes, which is weird, but they still are having a fantastic season, and they sold out hard in OT during that extended and insane PK. Maybe I am going soft in my old age, or maybe participating in a sport myself instead of just spectating is changing my perspective, or maybe with all the terrible garbage happening in this country, a loss by a sports team doesn’t seem quite so dire.

The men are home for a Thursday-Friday series against Miami, who sucks, and who we have not played yet. This is very odd. I suggest sweeping.

The Art of War

14 February 2017

tUMD 1, Red Menace 1 (12 round SOL)/let’s pretend Sunday’s game didn’t exist

tUMD played #1 Wisconsin this past weekend without Stalder, Elmes, Mrazova, and Healey. What a massive letdown for a #1 vs #2 matchup, eh? I can’t say that I  was extremely hopeful about the result.

What I did not know was what masterful tacticians our coaches are. I sort of blew off following the game on Saturday because I didn’t want to be depressed, but came home, pulled up my Twitter feed while hyperventilating and covering my eyes while peeking through my fingers, braced for the worst. And it was 0-0! Until I tweeted about it, then Wisconsin scored and I thought it was all over.

AND THEN UMD SCORED. Sydney Brodt scored! And it was not all over! And then when Morin took a penalty in OT, I thought it was all over, and it was not all over!

And then ALL OF THIS HAPPENED, and it was regrettably all over.

shootout

tDogs got the crap kicked out of them on Sunday, but who cares? They got a tie. Let’s say they don’t completely sell out for that tie on Saturday, and lose 1-0 or 2-0 or maybe 4-1 or something, not sure. And then they don’t lose 8-0 on Sunday, but does that really matter? A 1-0 loss is the same as a 2-1 loss is the same as a 1000000000000-0 loss when it comes to the PWR and the league standings. Yes, it was a meager 1 point out of 6 available for the weekend, and eking out a shootout win would have been nice, but it is a heckofa lot more than any of us expected. Well, I don’t know, maybe some of you out there are unmitigated optimists.

That tie was important, PWR-wise. The only team with a better record against Wisconsin is UMTC, and they have their second series this weekend to close out the season. We, ahem, would like for the Badgers to be sweeping that, although I think tDogs would still come out in 3rd place. The Goofs would tie us in league wins, they have the H2H comparison we are tied in the H2H comparison, and they have more goals for. So unless the tiebreaker was something odd like league losses (it’s not it is, holy crap), tDogs are in 3rd place. (Update: I made some horrendous errors and corrected them.)

I really never thought I’d be so happy with a tie, but when your team is missing the WCHA’s best player and three other key skaters, a tie against the #1 team in the country (to whom your team has already handed one of their stingy 2 losses on the season), a tie is pretty freaking groovy.

Empty Chairs at Empty Arenas

6 February 2017

tUMD 2, Fhawks 0/tUMD 2, Fhawks 1
tUMD 2, Red Cows 2 (tUMD SOW)/tUMD 5, Red Cows 0

Sports-wise, an excellent weekend (Sunday excluded). It would have been nicer if tUMD men had managed to win in real time on Friday night, but strangely it did not bother me. The women had already won and the men’s PWR is pretty solid. It’s so weird, having two great, entertaining teams at the same time.

So why doesn’t anyone go to games?

Let’s start with the women. This weekend was Cram the Am. Tickets were $1, or free with a food drive donation. The Am was not crammed. It probably never will be, until things start to change. Why don’t people go to women’s games?

  1. Misogyny
  2. Internalized misogyny
  3. General stupidity
  4. Outrage over Title IX (which is really a repeat of 1, 2, or 3)
  5. Ignorance
  6. Working weekends (or working Friday afternoons, like me)
  7. Kids’ hockey tournaments
  8. Broken hip
  9. So angry Miller made more than Sandelin that they will have “Shannon Miller sucks” on their tombstone
  10. “Economic anxiety” (If you desire to go to a hockey game and cannot afford to go to a game that costs $1, I will take you to the game and buy you groceries as well.)

Ok. Well, what about the men’s games? Why aren’t people going to men’s games? From the previous list, we can rule out 1, 2, 4 (possibly), and 9. But unlike with women’s games, those empty seats are sold. And why is it always the people in the yellow (they’re not gold) seats that never show up?

  1. General stupidity
  2. Ignorance
  3. Working weekends
  4. Kids’ hockey tournaments
  5. Broken hip
  6. Economic anxiety ($25 to see Miami on a Thursday night???)
  7. ???????????????????????????????????????????????

Now, damn it Jim, I’m an engineer, not a marketer, but something is messed up here. Why don’t people want to go to games anymore?

I’m generally not a person who asks for reader interaction, because I don’t have any readers, but if you are a person who doesn’t go to home games anymore, or you know someone who fits that description, holla at ya girl and let me know. Just another free service I’ll provide to tUMD’s athletic department.

Oil Country

1 February 2017

I am in Edmonton all week, and was fortunate to have attended the Wild game last night. I was pretty excited, considering this was the view from my hotel room:

rogersday

My colleague and I purchased tickets off the secondary market just a few hours before the game. We thought about waiting longer to see if prices would drop, but I wanted to veg out at the hotel and she had a prior commitment. We agreed to meet at the arena, which was a poor decision on my part.

For some reason, once I get into an elevator, I lose my bearings completely, so I ended up going the wrong way in the Pedway and ended up wandering around the streets of Edmonton looking for the arena. It’s truly amazing that I could not find an arena that I could see from my hotel room, but this story would be a lot more boring if I had arrived at the game without incident. My colleague called me to tell me she was on her way (she was also running late), and when I told her I was by the RBC building on Jasper Ave, she was perplexed. I could barely work my phone at this point as my hands were freezing, but we managed to meet up outside a Tim Horton’s (of course) and got back into the Pedway. And then once we exited the Pedway from the same doors I’d used to get into the hotel Monday evening, I realized the profundity of my gaffe.

The Wild scored right as we arrived and climbed the stairs to security screening. We went through the metal detectors and held our breaths while our ticket were scanned, hoping they were legit (they were). My very first impression once we were inside was: the arena is spacious. Most arenas feel cramped, and I feel like I’m amidst a herd of cattle trying to navigate through concourses, but I could have driven a freaking tank down the Rogers Place concourse. It did feel very removed from the game – the concourse is closed off from the action, so we couldn’t see the game clock or any other action. We did see a giant escalator, which I learned is the longest escalator in North America. I desperately wanted to ride it up, but it was going down. It was actually quite complicated to find an up escalator.

Before we ascended to our seats in the upper concourse with the rest of the plebes, my colleague wanted to take a picture with a larger-than-life bobblehead. I recently established my new motto as “What’s one more regret?” (thank you, Brian), so we got in line and had the promotional woman snap some pix.

rogersnosepickcensored

Some identities protected

I love being me.

We finally found an up escalator (the huge escalator was going down), but were probably as far away from our section as possible. We made it to our section with just a couple minutes to go in the period, during a stoppage, so we couldn’t get to our seats due to the number of people coming up to get their beers. We ended up having to stand at the top of the section until the end of the period, but I was able to see the Wild score their second goal, with about 4 seconds left in the period!

We had to wait until practically the entire section emptied before we could get to our seats, but while we were waiting, another colleague came up the stairs. It turned out he was in our section. Probably half of our department was at the game, since most people are either Wild fans or Oilers fans (with a few exceptions – my director is a Flames fan and my boss is a Red Wings fan). We talked to him and his wife for a little bit before we were finally able to sit down. It turned out we were in the very top row, which was a little disconcerting, because the upper deck is really steep. I felt a bit dizzy for awhile before I adjusted, between that and the fact that I could feel the floor shaking a bit. I trust structural engineers, but at the same time, it was disconcerting to feel the concrete moving underneath us.

I can’t be mad about the view, though.

rogersice

The video board is HUGE, the picture is extremely clear, and that sucker is bright. It’s SO bright that when my colleague and I were trying to take a selfie, the white background of the video at the time was so bright I was glowing in the photo. We had to wait until the picture changed.

The Wild scored again in the second period to make it 3-0, and I discovered I was the only Wild fan in the section — or anywhere nearby. But I stood up and cheered and made a bunch of noise anyway. The arena was pretty dead, probably because the Oilers were down 3-0, but there were still moments of crowd noise. However, as I looked around the arena, no one seemed to be moving or cheering. For this purely scientific reason, I conclude that the Oilers pump in fake crowd noise.

The Oilers finally scored with just under 9 to go in the period. Their goal song is awful. The Wild scored less than 2 minutes later, so that quieted the fans for awhile. I stood up and cheered again. I don’t think I was a very popular lady. The Oilers made it 4-2 on a PPG toward the end of the period, so the game wasn’t completely under control at the second intermission, though I felt fairly confident. However, the last thing I wanted was to be in a hostile arena during a massive comeback from the home team.

We walked around the arena to find another colleague, who is a Duluthian (freshly returned from a VIP All-Star Game excursion he won) and of course a Wild fan. Another Wild fan found us while we were talking. “Ok, all three of us are here, good,” he said as he stopped for a moment. Check check. After that, we circumnavigated the concourse to meet up with my former boss, then went back to our seats. The Oilers fans were not super happy to see me, and I was met with several “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOs,” to which I responded “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!” I know that’s tame for me, but this is Canada. In an attempt to assimilate, I said “Sore-y” when stepping past people to get to my seat.

In the third period, the Wild took an annoying penalty as Darcy Kuemper floated the puck over the glass. I was concerned a power play goal would start the Oilers comeback, but instead Chris Stewart (serving the penalty) scored coming out of the box, after sending Zucker in as a decoy. I could feel the passive aggression wafting off the Oilers fans around me as I cheered.

The Wild appeared to score one more time, but after a lengthy and confusing series of reviews, the goal was waved off. While we were waiting, the Edmontonians became restless and started yelling “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” in my general direction, so I yelled “It was me! I did it, I challenged the play!” I’m a friggin’ ambassador.

We stayed til the end of the game, then walked out, running into several more colleagues, including my friend’s boss and our director, who told me as a Flames fan, he was cheering for the Wild. How courteous. Unfortunately the Wild are stinking it up in Calgary as I write this.

I regret not eating any of the fancy concessions they had at the arena, but I had already eaten some dicey Thai curry from the food court near my hotel, so I was not interested in tempting fate. (The dicey Thai food ended up being fine, I was just being paranoid.) Or spending my own money. I had an absolute blast with my friend and I am so glad I was able to see the Wild live! I haven’t been to a game in a long time, since I no longer live in the Twin Cities.

rogersnight

Goodnight suitcase. Goodnight Rogers Place. Goodnight reflection of my face.

Hockeypolitik

23 January 2017

tUMD 5, BSU 1/tUMD 2, BSU 2 (SOL)
tUMD 5, FHAWKS 3/tUMD 4, FHAWKS Trump’s IQ

tUMD women started out great, with an absolute thumping of the defensively stifling and horrifically boring Beavers. Lara Stalder, queen, had a hat trick on Friday. Thank you Shannon Miller & staff for recruiting this woman – we are lucky to have her on the team! Unfortunately, tDogs could not pick up the sweep as Bemidji scored with less than 5 minutes remaining, and then scored 2 goals to our none in the shootout.

As for the men…

Look, we are living in a dystopian nightmare right now, which officially began on Friday, but which has been a specter over our lives for months now. And no, that’s not the last you’re going to hear about it, and no, I do not care if you unfollow/stop reading, although listening to me might teach you a few things about being a decent human being.

There’s probably no one more representative of the worst of the people who brought this nightmare upon us than the stereotypical North Dakota fan. A person who yells “SIOUX YEAH YEAH” and thinks that honors Dakota people. A person who attends hockey games at a gauche, vulgarian arena built by a Nazi. A person who goes onto the UND fan forum and makes dog whistle posts in a thread called “Fargo is the new Detroit” about the scourge of Lutheran Social Services. A person who whines about how badly they suffered under “Barry Obummer” but they “didn’t complain,” so now we should shut up and submit to the fascist dictator demanding we heap praise upon him, or else. (Note: some of my best friends are UND fans, not all UND fans, etc etc etc.)

Of course it also doesn’t help that their captain, Gage Ausmus, was incredibly disrespectful to a college hockey reporter (and woman of color) who asked him to consider the impact his overt Trumplove had on others.

So, while fully aware that 1. many UMD players are also Trumplovers and 2. many UMD fans are also Trumplovers, I really wanted UND to lose. Like, I personally wanted them to lose, because it would make me feel slightly better about the awfulness of Inauguration Day (which is now re-named as some kind of Mussolini-esque holiday). I usually have a low-level buzz of annoyance for UND fans due to their singular, maniacal obsession with their team, inferiority complex over being from a state of no importance, and of course, the stuff I already talked about a couple paragraphs ago. I just really, really needed North Dakota to lose.

And UMD obliged, sweeping their first four game season series with North Dakota ever. And that schadenfreude was so delicious, my friends. Even though it was all made up in my head and made no difference in the state of the world, even though it is totally stupid and petty and makes me look like a total idiot. I do not care. I relished those victories and I rejoiced in the defeat of my enemies. All those sad angry dudebros and “forgotten men and women” who enabled the monster in the White House and who tie their self-esteem and self-worth to a college hockey team drove home unhappy.

Then I went back to planning how I am going to work toward defeating fascism, because even dual national championships from tUMD men and women in 2017 won’t actual affect any real change.