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Seven of Nine

28 February 2012

tUMD 4, Puddytats 3 (OT)
tUMD 5, Puddytats 2

Hello everyone! Are we all hunkered down for yet another SNOWMAGEDDON!!!!!!!21212414231“1`??? Actually, it is snowing outside right now (well, it was when I started this, it isn’t anymore) and I am probably going to be very annoyed on my drive home (maybe not), but for now all is well. I forgot to bring something to read for my break between classes (yes, I am back in school, no, this isn’t in pursuit of the same degree I was before, I already graduated, that’s enough about my non-hockey life) and so, ugh, I’m stuck blogging.

Okay, it’s really not that bad. And I really should have posted sooner about this weekend, as I should have posted about last weekend and the weekend before, since I got all “wake me when it’s over” and took a break from blogging when I wasn’t even really blogging in the first place lately. But hey, I’ve been doing this for eight years and if I couldn’t step away and pick it back up when I chose to, then I’d probably have shut it down for good. AND THAT WOULD BE A TRAGEDY.

So we learned on Friday that jumping out to 3 goal leads is not a good idea. That seems whackadoodle, of course, but we already knew that jumping out to 4 goal leads was also not a good idea. Ask anyone if they’d rather have a nice cushion or a tight game and they’d be “CUSHION!!!” all the way, but I guess not tUMD. Friday wasn’t a bad game, though. JT Brown returned, and if anyone wondered if he would be at 100%, let’s hope that with his 9 SOG and OTGWG, that he wasn’t at 100% and the best is yet to come. Oh, and Scott Hartnell of the Flyers just happened to tweet about JT. (Which is more good publicity for college hockey than Paul Kelly managed to do in his entire tenure with College Hockey, Inc, I might add.) The power play woke up. BOTH units, I should add, woke up. Max Tardy had two points, which I can only hope leads to better days ahead for him and continued success for the team.

Saturday we learned that four years is not enough time with this senior class. (Excepting Danberg and Reiter, who we got for five years.) (Oh, and two years is not enough time with JT Brown, but what can we do about it?) Almost every senior had a point on Saturday night (and the others were VERY close to scoring), and Mike Seidel must have read the criticism on the boards about him because he went out and scored the first two goals of the game and made a few bids for a third. The Dogs played one of their best games in a long time, and I was glad to be there to witness it.

Before we talk about our seniors, remember that there could have been two more members of this senior class. Brady Hjelle left the team to return to junior hockey and is now backing up Cal Heeter at Ohio State. Mike Connolly signed a professional contract after the Frozen Four and was recently traded from the San Jose Sharks system to the Colorado Avalanche system. Two players who left for two totally different reasons and have had two totally different careers since leaving the Dogs, but nonetheless two players who started at tUMD with the rest of the senior class (excepting Danberg and Reiter, again, but do I have to keep saying that?)

And now we talk about the seniors.

Jack Connolly
His freshmen year, Jack came in as the predicted WCHA Rookie of the Year, with Carol Brady hair, and instantly became my favorite. So, first of all, thanks Jack for not taking out a restraining order against me, despite this, and this, or this, or this. Hmm… put all together, yeah I’m a little crazy. Or just INSPIRED to CREATIVITY by one of the best players in Bulldog history. Multitudes of WCHA weekly and yearly honors, 3-time All-American*, 2012 Hobey Baker Award Winner*, and 9 points away from reaching 200 points in his college career. This year, Jack came in with the weight of the hockey world on his shoulders, as everyone (other than me) wondered how he would fare without his prolific linemates, Mike Connolly and Justin Fontaine Connolly. As no surprise, he rose to the occasion. I hope tUMD chooses to retire #12. Jack is a one-in-a-googolplex player, and I can’t believe his time at tUMD is coming to a close.

*citation needed

Cody Danberg
tUMD fans have, as a result of his injuries, gotten a chance to get to know Cody a little bit better than most players as Bruce has had him on the air a few times. So it’s really hard not to like a guy who is willing to put up with Bruce’s corny jokes for hours at a time with few breaks in sight. Oh, and a guy who gives us a player’s perspective on the officiating and the flow of the game and all that, too. I am sad to see him in a suit, night after night, even though he looks quite nice in it, because I know he could be out on the ice 1. murdering people and 2. scoring the craziest, dirtiest goals you’ll ever see. Cody has 8 career goals at tUMD and I don’t think a single one of them is pretty, but he also had two goals in one game as a freshman, where he scored the OTGWG against Mankato to complete an unlikely comeback against Mankato. Technically Cody could come back again and play next year, but I haven’t heard any rumours that he plans to. He would be more than welcome… or he could begin his career in sports broadcasting!

David Grun
I like Grun because he wears #27. I don’t think I need any more reason than that, but there are a lot more reasons to like him. First of all, he’s like a wrecking ball. He can knock anyone into the upper bowl if he chooses to. He seems totally fearless and he is always the guy there to stick up for his teammates. He’s very Drew Akins-esque. He is also more than capable of scoring and he is a huge part of what has made tUMD such a good team. There’s no sitting back against a line with David Grun on it, whether he’s on the top line or the fourth line, and his versatility has given tUMD the depth it needs for success.

Scott Kishel
While tUMD fans were wringing their hands wondering what would happen to our blue line this season, Scott Kishel was working his badonkadonk off, ready to step back in to the lineup and shoulder whatever burden was sent his way. Last year he played seven games. This year, he’s only missed three, and he’s in key situations for the team. I think he’s even gotten faster as the year has progressed. Or if not that, his positioning has improved. Scott’s success this year is a testament to his hard work and patience. The team’s got a lot of defencemen this year, and a different guy might have looked at the depth at the position, looked at himself as a senior vs. the others as underclassmen, and defeated himself before he even tried. I salute you, Scott, for what you have done for the team, and for yourself, this year. Parents, if you’ve got a youth hockey player (or any sport!) in a tough situation this year, tell ’em Kishel’s story.

Brady Lamb
Brady has been a favorite of mine since he was a freshman and he was the first player I ever met. (I have a well-documented fear of meeting players. And I also have proven, time and time again, that this fear is justified since I turn into a complete moron and say crazy stuff in their presences.) I actually met another player at the same time as him but that person and I didn’t have a very good interaction. I did have a great chat with Brady and that was that, now he’s one of My Guys. He has a slap shot that would probably kill most people and is certainly painful for anyone who dares to step in front of it. His accuracy with that wicked slappah seems to be improving, too. He’s brutally punishing in his checks, too. Last year he assisted on every goal in the national championship game. We owe him a lot for that alone, and for sticking with the team even though he may have had some other opportunities come up along the way.

Travis Oleksuk
Absolutely 100% scary good. If you’re a fan of college hockey and don’t know who Travis Oleksuk is, you should probably just forfeit your life, because you’re a fraud. That seems a little harsh, but Oleksuk is so talented, and so clutch, that I’m not really overreacting. Travis’s dad Bill had a great career at tUMD, and if that wasn’t enough, we got his son, too. His freshman year, he hardly played at all… then he got into the lineup and the team went on a roll. He is our best face-off guy, he has speed, hands, strength, everything. Except Barry Melrose can’t pronounce his name. (“OH-leh-suk” is what the Mullet said.) tUMD will, in all likelihood, have three guys hit the 50 point mark again, and Oleksuk is one of them.

Kenny Reiter
So, if you were to jump in your WABAC Machine and tell 2007 RWD that tUMD would win a national championship, never in a million years would she guess that Kenny Reiter would be in goal to win it. I doubt 2007 Kenny Reiter would have guessed it, either. But with a little puck luck, some fortuitous circumstances, and nerves of lonsdaleite, he got there. And he’s going to get us there again this year, it pretty clear. Regular Season Kenny is great, but Playoffs Kenny is out of this world. Kenny won Fan Favorite this year, prompted my friend Erik to make up a catchy cheer, and he is a candidate for Bulldog sainthood. We can already attribute several miracles to him, non?

Thanks seniors. You are the best of the best, and I am so very very proud to cheer you on.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 3 March 2012 6:38 pm

    sometimes i forget how funny you are…or is that talented…or both???

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