Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Another split weekend and a steamroller...

The DU Pioneers, once again, split the weekend’s games. This time the opponent was the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. Their first meeting since the Dogs bounced the Pioneers from the 2005-2006 playoffs ended in a 2-1 OT loss for the Pioneers. Glenn Fisher played another exceptional game, making 36 saves, once again giving the Pioneers a chance to win. Ryan Dingle started the scoring off on an even strength score from Brian Gifford and Rhett Rakhshani in the early minutes of the third period. About 7 minutes later, UMD got on the score board while on a power play. Finally, in OT, UMD sophomore Justin Garrison scored the game winner. In a fun (or maybe not so fun depending on who you are) fact, Justin Garrison has scored 4 goals in his career, all them against DU…

In the second game of the series, Junior goalie Peter Mannino garnered his first win of the 2006-2007 season in a 4-2 decision at the DECC. Nobody says it quite like Coach Gwozdecky so, “We played our best game of the season tonight, Our power play came to life and we had a dominant third period. It was good to see Peter get his first win and Rhett score his first goals as a Pioneer." Ryan Dingle started things off again with a tally in the second period. Rhett Rakhshani scored twice, Tyler Ruegsegger netted the game winner, and Geoff Paukovich got his first point of the season with an assist on one of Rakhshani’s goals.

The Pioneers now stand at 4-4-0 in over play, 2-2-0 in WCHA play. They are tied for third place in the WCHA with Michigan Tech, Minnesota, and St. Cloud State. DU gets a rest this week as they prepare to face the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center. I personally am looking forward to these games more than some of the others this season as I will be in attendance! The countdown is down to 10 days…

The Colorado College Tigers, as predicted by yours truly, have faltered in their play as of late, having been swept for the second weekend in a row. First, CC was swept by UNH while playing in World Arena (scores were 3-4, and 2-7 both in favor of UNH). Last weekend, the Tigers were humiliated by the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Mariucci Arena. Kellen Briggs (who I refuse to believe has only played for the Goofers for four years) earned a shut-out in the Friday night match, saving 20 shots while Matt Zaba (aka Zaba the Hut) earned his third loss of the season. It only got worse for CC in the Saturday night match when they only managed 12 shots on goal and allowed 2 shorthanded goals. The Tigers now sit at the very bottom of the WCHA standings having scored only 1 goal and allowed 10 goals in conference play. CC looks to bounce back next weekend as they face Michigan Tech (who swept Alaska Anchorage last weekend in 9-0 and 5-3 games) in World Arena.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Avs vs. Minnesota 4-1

The Colorado Avalanche had a great showing last night in a 4-1 win over the division leading Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center. Milan Hejduk scored twice and Tyler Arnason added his 4th goal of the season. The real story was however, all about Lappy! Ian Laperriere finally scored his 100th career goal! It was quite a beauty. In fact, all four goals were nice, don’t believe me? Watch the highlights here (Click here…)The Avs next take a two game road trip, visiting Columbus (11/1) and St. Louis (11/2), before returning home to play the Vancouver Canucks (11/4)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Avs vs. Washinton 3-5

The Avs lost 5-3 last Wednesday when Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals visited the Pepsi Center. Caps goalie Olaf Kolzig stopped 45 shots in the win, while Peter Budaj saved 26 shots in his second consecutive start. There were two highlights of the night that stood out the most for me.

First, Joe Sakic had an assist on a goal by Andrew Brunette at the 11:33 mark of the first period to become the 11th player to reach the 1,500 point mark and only the 6th player to reach the mark playing for only one franchise. Another highlight of the game was a penalty shot taken by Alexander Ovechkin. He was awarded a penalty shot at 11:58 of the third period, following a hold by Ken Klee on a breakaway, but Budaj swatted it away with his stick. It was very exciting seeing Ovechkin coming down the ice toward Budaj and watching Budaj swat that puck away. Overall, it was a great game to watch despite the Avs’ loss. Paul Stastny continued his point streak The Avs next face the Minnesota Wild on Sunday October 29 in the Pepsi Center.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Avs vs. Los Angeles 6-1

The Colorado Avalanche played an absolutely stellar game last night in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings at the Pepsi Center. Former DU standout Paul Stastny scored his second NHL goal and tallied two assists to garner First star of the game honors as well as third star of the NHL honors on NHL.com. Paul is now tied, with 8 points in 9 games played, with 3 other players for 3rd highest scorer on the Avalanche. Only Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk have more points. Also, Paul is tied with Joe Sakic for assists…

In a five goal second period, Milan Hejduk scored two goals and tallied one assist. In an almost comical scene, Hejduk was credited with his second goal, when Patrice Brisbois' shot deflected off Paul Stastny's stick and Hejduk's face past LA goalie Dan Cloutier. Thankfully it appears that Hejduk was not any worse for wear minus a bit of blood in his mouth.

Peter Budaj did a great job in net for the Avs, making 27 shots. He was helped greatly by the Avs’ ability to stay out of the penalty box, having only been assessed three minor penalties (one in each period).

Monday, October 23, 2006

DU splits the weekend with the greatest hair in college hockey, I mean RPI

The University of Denver Pioneers began their first home series of the 2006-2007 season interestingly. In former assistant coach Seth Appert's return to DU on Friday October 20, the RPI Engineers garnered at 2-1 win in DU’s home opener. The DU team seemed sluggish and lazy. After scoring the first goal 13:21 into the first game, sophomore goalie Peter Mannino allowed RPI to score on a 5-on-3 power play to tie the game at the 12:04 mark of the second period after senior forward Steven Cook was called for interference and freshman defenseman Keith Seabrook 9who I like to call the decapitator because of his ultra-hard hits) was called for roughing. The final period showed the DU team putting forth very little effort to try to get back into the game, made worse when RPI scored at 5:10 of the third.

On Saturday October 21, DU put in one of their best performances of this young season, winning 5-1 over RPI. Junior forward Ryan Dingle started the scoring off with a power play goal from Keith Seabrook and captain Adrian Veideman in the first period. RPI tied the game up at 1 early in the second on a power play. At 19:16 of the second, junior defenseman Andrew Thomas scored what turned out to be the game winning goal while in 4-on-4 play. The final period was dominated by the Pioneers as they scored three goals one even strength from freshman phenom Tyler Ruegsegger, one power play from captain Adrian Veideman, and finally a short handed empty net goal from senior Steven Cook. Senior goalie Glenn Fisher looked great saving 21 of 22 shots on goal from RPI. Congratulations to Andrew Thomas on the first multi-point game of his career!

Avs at Montreal 5-8

In a supremely embarrassing night, the Avs lost 8-5 in the final game of their Canadian road trip versus the Montreal Canadians. Jose Theodore was given the start after his stellar performance in Ottawa and looked pretty good in the first period allowing only 1 goal on 11 shots. It was slippery slope to failure from there. In the next two periods, Jose allowed 7 goals on 25 shots from six different Canadians players. After scoring three goals in the space of 1 minute and 15 seconds in the first period, the Avs seemed to be unable to stay out of the penalty box, having 4 penalties called on them in the second period alone. Things fell apart from there. The Habs scored an astonishing 5 goals in the final period.

A few notes about the game:
-In one of the classiest moves this season, John-Michael Liles gave his number (26) to Paul Stastny in favor of his college number (4), previously held by Rob Blake.
-Paul Stastny scored his first NHL goal at the 16:41 mark of the first period. Perhaps the number change spurred Stastny on? An interesting tidbit is that Paul’s brother Yan also scored his first NHL goal against the Canadians, a team their father, Hall of Famer Peter Stastny had great success against in his illustrious NHL career.
-the crowd in Montreal was loud…so loud that I could distinctly hear them chanting Theo, Theo, Theo every time the puck came near him. After one of these instances when play stopped, those witty French-Canadians who run the Bell Centre played “Stars go Blind” by none other than Paris Hilton. The crowd thought this was so funny that they could be heard laughing and cheering, much to the chagrin of Jose Theodore.
-Former Av David Aebischer garnered the start for the Canadians. He did well in his first game against his former team, allowing 5 goals on 36 shots.

On a final note, there was a great article on NHL.com about the Stastny brothers.
Click here to read the full story.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Avs at Ottawa 2-1

The Avs had another great win last night when they visited the Ottawa Senators. In the 2-1 win, Jose Theodore stopped 26 of 27 shots while Brad Richardson scored a short handed goal to win the game for the Avs. Joe Sakic opened up the scoring 10 minutes into the third period, with the help of Andrew Brunette and Ian Laperriere. Richardson’s beautiful shorthanded goal, his second of the season, came a mere six minutes later to put the Avs up 2-0 on the struggling Senators. After a rough start, the Sens big line of Heatly, Spezza, and Alfredsson finally managed to get on the score sheet 10 minutes into the third period. Theodore did an excellent job of keeping the Avs in the game in the final period and had an all around great game. It’s been reported that he’ll be making the start when the Avs face the Montreal Canadians on Saturday.

In other interesting Avalanche news, John-Michael Liles will be returning to his college number (4), allowing former Pioneer Paul Stastny to have his college number (26), which was also his Hall of Fame father’s number. What a classy move by Liles!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Avs at Toronto 4-1

The Colorado Avalanche had a very nice win over the Toronto Maple Leafs last night as they began a 3 game road trip. John-Michael Liles scored twice, while Brett McClean and Milan Hejduk scored one a piece in the 4-1 win. Former Av Bates Battaglia scored for the Leafs at 2:22 of the first period, but from there is was all about the Avs. Peter Budaj made 27 saves in the win.

In some interesting Statistics news, Avalanche Rookies Wojtek Wolski and Paul Stastny are tied for 4th place in Rookie Scoring. Both have played all 6 of the Avalanche’s games with Wolski getting 3 goals and 1 while Stastny got 4 assists. (On a side note, former DU standout and 2006 Hobey Baker Winner Matt Carle is second in the league in Rookie Scoring have scored 2 goals and 4 assists in 6 games with San Jose).

The Avs continue their road trip tonight facing the Ottawa Senators in Canada’s Capital. The Senators are 2-3-0 in 5 games, all their losses coming on their home ice. Look for a lot of break away scoring chances for the Avs as the Sens have struggled on the blue line this year after the loss of Zdeno Chara to Boston (who by the way are 1-3-1, further proof that Chara is not as good as his $7.5 million contract would leave you to believe, and that Phil Kessel is indeed a cancer to any team he plays on….).

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


So I’ve gotten behind…oops! That’s bound to happen with school starting and my massive amounts of devoirs francais as well as the reorganization of my department at work... Anyways, here’s all the news that’s fit to print…

DU won their exhibition game against the Dinos in a 6-3 contest on September 30. The Dinos tallied the first score of the game in the first, and then followed in the second with another goal. DU went on to score 6 unanswered goals in the space of 22 minutes. With 10 seconds left the Dinos scored one last time. Both Glenn Fisher and Peter Mannino had great showings, though it seemed the team played better in front of Mannino as all the DU goals were scored while he was in net. The most astonishing thing about this game was the amount of penalties called. DU had 15 penalties for 30 minutes while the Dinos had 21 penalties for 42 minutes.

Other college teams in Colorado also faced the Dinos. CC lost 4-2 on October 1. In one of the most embarrassing losses in recent history, CC put 53 shots on goal and allowed 4 power play goals. CC was down 3-0 before senior Brandon Polich scored with less than 15 seconds left in the second period. The Air Force Academy faced the Dinos on October 2, taking a win in a 4-2 game.

In other DU news, the Pioneers opened their 2006-2007 season in Oxford, Ohio at the Icebreaker Tournament. DU faced the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks in the evening game of the tournament. DU really had no chance, this being the first game the Redhawks played in their brand new ice arena. Miami scored 5 goals on 31 shots. Mannino’s play was mediocre at best. The next evening DU faced Colgate in third place game, winning 3-2 with three power play goals in the second period. Glenn Fisher took the win in net.

Last weekend, DU visited the St. Cloud State Huskies. In the first game of the series on Friday night, Glenn Fisher faced a career 50 shots, making a career high 47 saves to help the Pioneers win 4-3 in OT. Bobby Goepfert on the other end of the ice only faced 23 shots for the night. Admittedly, SCSU should have won this game. It was a nice steal for Glenn Fisher, who then started on Saturday night to disastrous results. Fisher allowed 4 goals on a mere 11 shots before he was pulled in favor of Peter Mannino, who then allowed 1 goal on 9 shots. Bobby Goepfert turned in an average performance, allowing 2 goals on 20 shots. Once again, Jon Campion’s personal vendetta against DU reared its ugly head in the 12 penalties called against DU (in contrast, only 7 were called against SCSU) during the weekend…

In other Colorado College news, CC played 4 non-conference (cupcake) games, taking 3 wins and on embarrassing tie. CC has faced Air Force (2-1 win for CC), Alabama-Huntsville (8-1 win for CC), Nebraska-Omaha (2-2 tie……), and Merrimack (5-0 win for CC). Now some people might be getting the mistaken impression that CC is actually going to do alright this year after losing their top 4 scorers, however taking a look at the teams CC has faced thus far doesn’t really who how they will match-up against Championship caliber teams…just give it time. I think this coming weekend’s match-up versus New Hampshire will be a much better measure of what to expect from the Tigers this season.

The Avs dropped their first two games of the season on October 4 and 5. Both were lost by the score of 3-2 in overtime though each game had a very different feel to it. In the home/season opener on October 4, the Avs were up 2-0 against the Dallas Stars going into the third period after Joe Sakic and Wojtek Wolski each scored 46 seconds apart in the first period. Former Stars captain Mike “prettiest hair in the NHL” Modano scored against Jose Theodore on a pass from Eric “where the hell am I” Lindros. 28 seconds later newcomer Loui “I’m too cool to have an S in my first name but I got two in my last name to over compensate” Eriksson scored to tie the game. It appeared the Avs were going to be able to win when Daryl “Mr. right place at the right time” Sydor was called for slashing at the 20 minute mark of the third period. However the Avs were only able to muster 3 shots on Marty “I’ve the fattest ass in the NHL and I love Modano” Turco in the OT period before he cleared the puck at the exact moment Sydor was exiting the penalty box, Sydor then went on the score the game winning goal. On a side note, would like to know who Eriksson was rewarded? He was sent to the AHL…gotta love the Stars…

In the second of the Avs overtime loses, the Wild scored the first two goals of the game. Both tallies came from quite possibly the scariest line in the NHL, Branko “I’ve got too many letters in my last name” Radivojevic, Marian “isn’t my Mohawk pretty?” Gaborik, and Pavol “I finally get to play with my lover in the NHL even though it’s for a team that sucks just as bad as the team I just came from” Demitra. This all-Slovak line moves like they were always meant to be a line and they score beautiful goals. Sophomore Brad Richardson was the best player for the Avs scoring twice for the Avs, once shorthand and unassisted, and again assisted by Ian Laperriere. He was such a rock star! Unfortunately, the Avs couldn’t pull the win out in the OT period as Todd “I look like an accountant” White scored in the first minute. Peter Budaj made a good showing, keeping the Avs in the game several times…

The Avs finally won a game on October 8 when the Vancouver Canucks came to visit. Marek Svatos scored two goals to help the Avalanche beat their Northwestern Division rivals in a 3-2 game. In our first look at Roberto Luongo, we saw glimpses of brilliance…Theodore played his best game yet.

After 6 days rest, the Avalanche faced the Edmonton Oilers on October 14. My favorite Mullet (aka Ryan Smyth) scored twice to lead the Oilers in a 4-3 victory at the Pepsi Center. Theodore let in a few softies on 25 shots on goal for a disappointing performance. Paul Stastny turned in another great performance for the Avs, assisting on 2 of the Avalanche’s three goals and garnering the third star of the game.

On October 16, the Chicago Blackhawks came to town. In another disappointing loss, the silver lining seems to be Tyler Arnason, who appears to have gotten his groove back as he tallied a goal and assist. There have been many questions regarding how Arnason will acquit himself this year and it looks as though he might be just fine.

The Avalanche go on their first road trip of the season this week, visiting Toronto (10/18), Ottawa (10/19), and Montreal (10/21). My best guess is that Propecia Joe (who, let me have an extremely girlie moment here, is way hotter in person than in his pictures….) will play the Toronto and Montreal games, while Budaj covers Ottawa. But it could be the other way or maybe Propecia Joe will play all the games, only time will tell.

On a final note, Senior Forward JD Corbin has broken his leg while in practice and it appears he will be out until March. This is a tough loss for the team, but definitely one that can be borne. This is even harder for JD who seems to have rotten luck with injuries (you may remember he broke his collar bone in the final practice before the CC game in the 2005 Frozen Four). I wish a very speedy recovery!