Sunday, January 21, 2007

Hockey Day Minnesota A Success

I haven't seen any sort of numbers to back this up, but at least from a personal standpoint, I found the first Hockey Day Minnesota incredibly entertaining.

The first game of the day, Lake of the Woods HS vs. St. Paul Johnson on Baudette Bay was a fun game to watch. I think it's amazing that with so many variables and things that could go wrong, outdoor hockey games like this always seem to work out so well. A lot of credit goes to the people up in Baudette for pulling that thing off so well because it was not an easy task.

Lake of the Woods and Johnson certainly aren't two of the best teams in the state, but it actually ended up being one of the most competitive high school games that FSN has shown this year, with the game going back and forth a couple times.

FSN ran a lot of great features between the games as well. The suggestion I would try to make it a little more inclusive. Jess Meyers of INCH made the point that it was disappointing that FSN seemed to be focused on just Minnesota and not the other four teams in the state. They did do a couple nice features on some SCSU alums who are having success in the pros(though really, the pool of Minnesota-born Gopher alums is pretty thin for something like that), and they had Craig Dahl on for a few minutes. I thought Dahl was excellent again in a commentary role, and he did a nice job of mentioning some of other teams in the state. It would have been cool to see features on Joel Otto or David Backes though. There's only so much time in a day though. Maybe next year.

It was kind of disappointing that on a day where there was so much talk of sportsmanship, Minnesota went out and ran over Denver's goalie twice in the first period, the second of which resulted in a brawl. It was a very physical series, with way too much stick-work from both sides, which meant the game ended up with a ton of penalties. Referee Todd Anderson did a pretty good job of quieting things down after the first period though, and kept the game from getting too out of hand.

One of the positives was that it was great to see Mike Vannelli get a hat trick. He's a very classy kid, and has developed into a top-notch player as a senior, so it was great to see him get rewarded.

The final game of the day was pretty boring for the most part. It was interesting to go straight from a college game to an NHL game. Both the Wild and Stars play a pretty conservative, defensive style, but what amazed me most was that you didn't see any of the obstruction and stickwork that you saw in the college game. I would absolutely love to see the NCAA do what it takes to make their game more like that, even if it means an insane amount of penalties for a while.

The shootout was pretty thrilling, and it's just a shame that the Wild couldn't pull it out. I think shootouts happen far too frequently in the NHL now, but they're still great to watch.

All in all, it was a great day for hockey in Minnesota. I hope the sponsors of the event will do what it takes to continue this tradition.


Anonymous said...

Truly, what a bunch of jerks FSN are for concentrating on the team with whom they have a television contract. This just in, the sky is blue, water is wet, and 1+1=2. Thanks Chris for proving to anyone with a brain what a dope you are.

Anonymous said...

O'Brien was checked into Fisher. You might have a shred of credibility if you had taken Kisio to task for running Briggs. I understand that fairness is anathema to a troll like you, Chris. But your hate would be so much more effective if you at least pretend to have one set of rules for everyone.

zooomx said...

anonymous obviously cannot identify him/or herself. If you hate the site so bad, why do you return?? I thought Chris mentioned that both teams displayed way too much stickwork. Besides...not every media outlet needs to fawn all over the Gopher program. It is great to see a site that takes a few shots at the "chosen ones"

zooomx said...

"One of the positives was that it was great to see Mike Vannelli get a hat trick. He's a very classy kid, and has developed into a top-notch player as a senior, so it was great to see him get rewarded."

yeah... this is another example of the author's negative attack on the gophers!!

Anonymous said...

Gophers O'Brien was PUSHED into the goalie. If you would have watched the game, it would have become apparent. For you to state that the Gopher ran over the Denver goalie twice is just irresponsible trolling. And the officiating was pure dreadful. Anderson was a joke and should be relegated to officiating Pee Wee games, although to be honest, the Pee Wee's deserve better.

Anonymous said...

TJ Hensick for HOBEY........Minnie just sucks!!

Anonymous said...

Chris - How do you get all these games? Direct TV, what state do u live in?

zooomx said...

Dahl has always been a class act. However, I am pumped about what Motzko is doing with the SCSU program. He recruits well, and is a heck of a bench coach.

I look forward to our home on home series with the Gophs at the end of Feb. We are seeing some chinks in the armor, and Bobby G is just starting to heat up... look out!

Ryan said...

true, O'Brien was helped into Fisher, but he didn't have to stick the elbow out there and I don't think the help was that much.

Blake Wheeler ran over Fisher earlier in the game and nothing was called. It should have been because it looked like it was blatent on Wheeler's part.

And for anyone who cares, I like to cheer for the Gophers, but they are able to do wrong.

Chris runs a very imformative and great blog, if you don't have anything to say besides to bash him, then don't read.

Anonymous said...


When Wheeeler "ran" over Fisher it wasn't called maybe because of Fisher's crappy acting job the day before and the lipjacking after the game. Also one person I trust said that Fisher was again trying out for the boy who cried wolf. All I saw was Fisher on the ice. So I can't say. Chris is free to speak his mind and so are we. If you don't like that, maybe you should stop reading the comments.

Anonymous said...

I find this blog funny coming from someone who "cheers" for his school Mankato and a big boy Michigan. Michigan probably has the same issues as does Minny with Jan Brady schools hating the flagship school.

Anonymous said...

Fischer and Denver were running their mouths all weekend. I only wish Wheeler would have run him over. As it is the series was great and I am really looking forward to the ND series this weekend. Gophers are in a bit of a lull right now, but I expect even bigger things from the freshmen as the season progresses.

Anonymous said...

It really doesn't get much worse than Minnesota fans.

Anonymous said...

I was going to stay out of this one, but i couldn't resist... Is it just me or doesn't 90% of the posts from bloggers on this website have to do with the gophers? They must be doing something right to demand so much attention.

There are too many haters out there that are jealous, and they know their school cant get the recruits and win the games the gophs can.

So in a petty attempt to feel good about their lousy team, they turn their frustration of losing into Gopher bashing.

If I had to guess I would say the majority of haters are Minnesota bloggers who live outside the twin cities.

On another note - Leave Chris and his website out of it.... I don't think he is too bias, if at all; he does a real nice job; and this website is a great source for info.

If you pay attention to this website you would know he writes many complimentary things about the Gopher program and their players (he's just not a Kessel fan)

Battle Hymn said...

I enjoyed it more when Chris was focused on just bashing the Gophers. I think he's turning into a Gopher pimp!

Anonymous said...

Minnesota is the Flag Ship of College Hockey in Minnesota and possibly most of College Hockey outside of the East.

I realise most people who cheer for the other schools in the state don't realize how regionalized their fans are number 1 and the fact that most of their towns contain more Gopher fans than the local team. UMD might be the only exception to that fan base identity crisis.

Cristen said...

If MSUM thought their fans were regionalized in Mankato, why would they have scheduled that "home" game at the X? :p

I think that most alums of all 5 state programs gravitate towards the Twin Cities. I know I probably will.

Anonymous said...

Don Lucia is way over rated. Was he ever schooled by Hakstol this weekend. Outcoached is too kind to describe this series. The Gophers are going to lose once again in the first round of the NCAA tourney this year. In the past 8 games, the Gophers have looked like a mid pack WCHA team. Breakdown after breakdown, very loose play. Lucia does not know how to handle the student athlete. Ask Hirsch and Kessel. He does not even have to recruit and gets the cream of the Minnesota crop of athletes. Time to get a coach who has a hunger and desire to actually coach a team, rather than rest on past achievements like Lucia has.