Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fisher takes the Reins

The DU hockey team swept their non-conference opponents this weekend in a convincing fashion. On Friday night, Ryan Dingle scored twice (once on the Power Play, once Shorthand) with the help of my favorite freshman, Rhett Rakhshani, to lead DU over the Air Force Falcons. Glenn Fisher put in another stellar performance allowing only one goal on 23 shots. That one goal should have been disallowed however as it appeared to have been deflected into the net using a high stick.

Saturday’s game saw the Pioneers with one of their most even efforts of the year. Ryan Helgason (1-0—1), Geoff Paukovich (0-1—1), Brandon Vossberg (0-1—1), Tyler Ruegsegger (1-0—1), Patrick Mullen 0-2—2), Adrian Veideman (1-1—2), Chris Butler (1-1—2), Rhett Rakhshani (0-2—2), Ryan Dingle (1-1—2), and Brock Trotter (1-2—3) all made their way onto the score sheet with goals and/or assists in the 6-2 win over the Robert Morris Colonials. Glenn Fisher, whose record improved to 7-2-0, got the start again and proved that he is capable of taking over the number one goalie spot on the team, allowing 2 goals on 27 shots.

Next week the Pioneers face their archrival, the Colorado College Tigers in a home and home series. The girls and I will of course be making the trip down there for the Friday night game. It should be a pretty even series. DU will be able to keep up with the Tigers on their Olympic sized ice and keep scoring to a minimum, as the Defensemen seem to be solidifying behind the expert upperclassman leadership of Adrian Veideman and Andrew Thomas.

Tidbits about the all time series numbers: DU leads all time series with CC 151-99-9 dating back to 1949-50 season. DU has outscored CC 29-12 during their 7 game unbeaten streak against CC. The Tigers have never beaten Peter Mannino in his career at DU.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Special to Hockey in Colorado

In a new feature I like to call "Special to Hockey in Colorado," I present a thoughtfully written article by my best friend Megan. This week's edition discusses the Rail Camera debuted in the Colorado Avalanche/Dallas Stars game last night on VERSUS.

Rail Camera aka the Blair Witch Camera by MeganDU

Last night VERSUS, the national cable television home of the NHL, debuted their high-definition rail camera (Rail Cam) during the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars game. “The Rail Cam gives viewers a unique perspective, bringing them significantly closer to the action," said Marty Ehrlich, Vice President of Production and Executive Producer for VERSUS. “The camera gives viewers an appreciation for the speed and strategy of the game with the way it tracks the action on the ice. We’re excited to introduce this new technology and we could not have done it without the help of the NHL, the Dallas Stars and the dedicated operations staff at the American Airlines Center.” While the rail camera, or the Blair Witch Camera as I like to call it does give the viewers a good idea of the speed and intensity of the game it detracts more than it enhances the viewing experience.

Let me explain, the Blair Witch Camera runs along a long black rail that is attached to the top of the glass on the opposite side of the players bench. Its purpose is to run along this rail as the play goes from one end of the ice to the other and catch the action. What it actually does is race up and down the rail and attempt to keep up with play or in a few instances whizzes past the play and gets an awesome shot of an empty piece of ice. In fact I did not know this prior to the game but Dr. Pepper Sponsors the Dallas Stars, I discovered this due to the many times that the Blair Witch Camera was focused on the Dr. Pepper logo in the ice, while play was a good ten feet away.

I like to call this camera the Blair Witch Camera because while watching it you get that sick feeling in your stomach that you get when you watch the Blair Witch Project due to the camera shaking. I know what you’re thinking, that sick feeling comes from seeing Modano on the ice, and you would be correct, but it was intensified by the constant movement and shaking of the rail camera. When the camera is whizzing up and down the rail it shakes the glass and in turn makes the camera look like it is being held by a CC fan in 1957.

When the Rail camera does catch up to the play and gets a shot of players they are always in the corners fighting for the puck, inevitably on the opposite side of the ice. This makes it impossible to see what is going on and the puck looks like a piece of pepper. After a couple seconds of this VERSUS would switch to the regular camera at center ice and the audience would have a much better view. That is until they moved the rail camera across the blue line and in to the shot. It never failed during the entire time I was watching the Avalanche Stars game every single time the rail camera would come in to the shot I though it was a player doing a spread eagle on to the ice. I would then laugh followed by the quick realization that it was a camera and then proceed to feel stupid and hate the Blair Witch Camera even more.

All in all in my opinion the Rail Camera was a waste of time and money. The debate now is whether or not it should be used during the All Stars Game which will take place in Dallas. From just watching a single game with the Rail Cam I would say that it would not in any way enhance the viewing of the game, unless it is improved and does not detract from viewing when regular cameras are in use.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'm Back!

WOW…what a weekend! That was easily the best weekend of my life. Here’s what went down.
-After arriving in Chicago, the girls got our car (a very nice 2006 Chevy Impala) and immediately looked for some place to eat. We discovered that Chicago natives must love Subway as there was one of every corner. We searched for about 20 minutes before we just went to a Subway.
-We got back on the road ready to begin the 2 ½ hour drive to Madison and scarf down our subs. Then we received a call from the other car from our group telling us to NOT take I-90 as it was packed. So we headed to I-294 to Milwaukee. After stopping at no less then three gas stations, we finally found the on-ramp and were finally on our way.
-4 hours and about a foot of snow (no really it was only like 6 inches of slush) we arrived in Madison. We met a very nice young man who directed us to the Kohl Center and a parking lot. We’d missed about 15 minutes of the game, which actually meant we didn’t miss anything.
-After Fisher’s beautiful 2-0 shutout of the Badgers, the crew headed to a restaurant for post-game festivities. We ended up at Gino’s on State St. It was this great little hole-in-the-wall Italian place with amazing food. Fun was had by all! The boys headed to the bars, while the girls headed to our hotel. One of our number has yet to turn 21 (Poppit, I’m talking about you), so there was no beer for us. We had planned at stopping at a liquor store; however, we learned that they close at 9pm in Madison (how lame is that…).
-Saturday rolled around and the girls wanted to explore the beautiful city of Madison. We drove around campus, taking pictures of everything and stopped at Amy’s Café. They had some amazing food there! Our next adventure took us to the sound side of Lake Monona. I wanted to get a shot of Madison from the south side of the lake so I found this neat little park to walk through. On our hike, Rrrrob was viciously attached by a sticky bush! I have never laughed so hard in my entire laugh as we tried to pick all the stickies off of her! Needless to say, I got my perfect shot.
-For dinner we stopped in the Badgerland Bar and Grill located in our hotel. We met some of the nicest Badger fans while eating cheese curds and chugging beer (they don’t sell beer at the Kohl Center so we had to stock up before the game).
-During one of the most exciting games this season, Poppit was groped by an old female Badger fan who then told us that it was inappropriate for us to cheer for our team. We were also flipped off and called *insert expletive here*. This all made the 4-3 OT victory all that much sweeter!
-Also during the game we were approached by an older DU alum living in Madison. He said he could hear us cheering four sections away and that he was proud of our spirit! We met up with him after the game to celebrate the win. Once again, the crew headed to Gino’s for dinner. It was another excellent evening spent in great company with amazing food.
-We woke up at 5 in the morning on Sunday so that we had plenty of time to drive back to Chicago (it only took us three hours!). Our flight was delayed as something was wrong with the front wheel. After an hour and a half of waiting, they decided the plane was safe to fly in, so off we headed. Our pilot hauled ass, as we arrived only half an hour later than expected!

Enjoy a slide show of my favorite pics (We took over 300!)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Roundup...and i'm not talking weedkiller...

So here I am scrabbling to put something together as I busily slave away at my favorite university before I head out on my mini-vacay to Wisconsin…

Here are the results for the Colorado Avalanche for the last two weeks:
10/29 vs. Minnesota Wild W, 4-1
11/1 @ Columbus Blue Jackets W, 5-3
11/2 @ St. Louis Blues L, 1-4
11/4 vs. Vancouver Canucks W, 3-2
11/7 vs. Los Angeles Kings L, 5-6

The Avs next face the Nashville Predators in Tennessee, on November 11. The standings in the Northwest Division are as follows:
Team Points
Minnesota 20
Vancouver 17
Colorado 16
Edmonton 15
Calgary 12

This weekend, the University of Denver Pioneers will travel to Madison, Wisconsin to face the defending National Champions at the Kohl Center. I and 6 other highly devoted (read fanatical) DU fans are traveling to catch the action first hand. I’ve been excited about this trip for about two months now and can barely stand sitting in my office right now. I’m ready to leave!!!!!

The Badgers traveled to Anchorage, Alaska last weekend to take on the Sea wolves. They split the weekend with a win on Friday night in OT and a loss on Saturday. This week the Badgers lost freshman defensemen (and Colorado’s 2nd round draft pick) Nigel Williams. He was apparently unhappy with the amount of ice time he was given, having played only one of the 10 games the Badgers have competed in. Best of luck to him as he moves to the OHL to play with Saginaw.