Monthly Archives: February 2016

“The greatest good you can do for another, is not to share your own riches, but to reveal to him, his own.”

—Benjamin Disraeli

Herb Brooks National Hockey Center

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Brooks Center - exterior

The home of the St Cloud State University Huskies was the final D-1 rink in Minnesota for me to catch a game in. The facility is named after Coach Herb Brooks, who was instrumental in the St Cloud program moving up to Division One. The main rink is named after late university President Brendan J. McDonald, who was also a huge advocate for the D-1 move.

Completed in 1989, the Brooks Center is a no-frills kind of ice rink, seating 5159 for hockey; there is minimal seating at the ends and a low ceiling. It also has the worst PA system of any rink I’ve been in. But it’s a loud arena for the home town Huskies, and the student section: The Dog Pound, is as raucous as they get.

UMD and SCSU during warm ups
UMD and SCSU during pre-game warm ups

The Duluth Bulldogs were in St Cloud to try to keep their home ice in the first round of the playoffs. St Cloud would be trying to stay tied at the top of the NCHC with North Dakota.

The Bulldogs set the tone early, with a goal in the first 39 seconds. Both teams were flying, but it was UMD that would expand their early lead. UMD worked a delayed penalty to perfection, keeping the puck away from St Cloud until Brenden Kotyk buried the puck behind Husky goaltender Charlie Lindgren. Then UMD went on the power play, and Karson Kuhlman scored unassisted to give Duluth a very sudden 3-0 lead.

Duluth gave a clinic on how to take the early lead and then just hang on. St Cloud is a very fast team, and their puck movement is impressive. They peppered Duluth goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo with 14 SOG in the second, but only put one past him. Kaskisuo turned away another 21 SOG in the third, but did not allow a goal. UMD’s Kuhlman added his second goal of the game, an empty netter, for the 4-1 Duluth win.

Kaskisuo faced 50 shots total, and Lindgren faced 35. Attendance was 4861.

Second period entertainment
Second period entertainment: “Too Tall Ike” skates around on 4′ high stilts, dressed as one of the Hanson bros.

Rover Camping

A Series Saturday Edition:

Rover Camping

“The Barn”

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Williams Arena
Williams Arena: Home of Golden Gopher basketball

A slight shift of gears here with a change of sports. #6 Maryland was in town to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, so I decided to head down to Williams Arena to take in some hoops action.

Welcome to The Barn

Williams Arena, affectionately known as The Barn in these parts, opened in 1928 and currently seats 14,625. Between 1950-1971, Williams Arena was the largest college basketball arena in the country, seating 18,025. Located in Stadium Village on the East Bank of University of Minnesota campus, I had not been to a basketball game in the venerable arena since I was a student at the U of M.

The Barn, with its raised floor, is a unique venue for college basketball. It is one of three college basketball arenas in the country with a raised court. Getting to the second deck in Williams Arena, is like making your way through the bowels of a WWII battleship. It’s an old building, and fans can literally hang from the rafters. When the Gophers are winning, especially if it’s a rivalry game, The Barn simply roars and the entire building shakes with the stomping feet of the fans. There was a time when opposing teams did not relish coming into Williams Arena.

Warmups at The Barn
Warm ups at Williams Arena

This year, I’m not sure a whole lotta shakin’ has been going on. It’s not so much a rebuilding year, as a resuscitation year. Prior to Thursday night, Minnesota had not won a B1G game this season.

Second deck of The Barn

Enter the Maryland Terrapins: Second in the Big Ten behind Wisconsin and #6 in the nation.

Minnesota hit 7 of 10 three pointers in the first 10 minutes to build an 11 point lead and set the tone of the game. Nate Mason had 18 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds; Jordan Murphy 17 points and 11 boards; and Joey King scored 15 and added 6 rebounds.

Minnesota led until 3 minutes left to play when Maryland went ahead 60-59, but Mason, King and Murphy all nailed free throws for the Gophers to retake the lead. In fact, King was 6 for 6 at the line in the final minute.

Final score: Minnesota 68 – Maryland 63. Attendance was 10,768

Storming the court
What happens when a 14 game losing streak comes to a surprising end? The student section storms the raised court.

Fans have not stormed the court, since 2013 when Minnesota upset #1 Indiana.

Why is it?

… When you are in a hurry to get to work, there is always a moose licking your vehicle?

Young bull moose
Young bull moose licking a minivan. Photo credit: Denali Education Center

Slightly Customized

A Series Saturday Edition:

Series II
Explorer Herbert Zipkin’s Series II



The Maltese Falcon

Sam Spade and Kasper Gutman will be returning to 650 theaters across the nation later this month.

Bogart & The Falcon
“The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.”

“The Maltese Falcon” will be re-released for it’s 75th Anniversary. As part of the TCM Big Screen Classics series, the film will be back on the big screen for two days only: February 21 and 24.

Cited as the first major film noir, the 1941 classic stars Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, and Mary Astor as Brigid O’Shaughnessy. Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Ward Bond, and Elisha Cook Jr co-star. The film, based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett, was directed by John Huston.

On the Sioux Trail: Mankato & Little Crow

U.S. – Dakota War of 1862, Part X

Executions at Mankato

In December of 1862, 303 Dakota prisoners were convicted by military tribunal of murder and rape. More than 600 white people had been killed during the war, of which 70 were soldiers and 50 armed civilians. The remainder killed were unarmed, with many being women and children.
Minnesota politicians and settlers wanted to see all 303 prisoners executed, but there were calls for leniency, notably from the Episcopal Bishop Henry Whipple, who went to Washington DC to plead for leniency from President Lincoln. Whipple argued that many of the trials lasted only 5 minutes, and that none of the Dakota prisoners had legal council.
Lincoln reviewed the trial records personally, trying to distinguish between those who fought against U.S. troops and those who murdered and raped citizens. When it was all said and done, the President commuted the sentences of all but 38 prisoners.
When the Republicans did not fare well in Minnesota in the 1964 election cycle, Minnesota Senator Alexander Ramsey, the former governor, told Lincoln that “more hangings would have brought more votes”. President Lincoln replied, “I could not afford to hang men for votes.”

Dakota Monument
“The last act of the Minnesota Dakota (Sioux) War took place here in Mankato on December 26, 1862 when thirty-eight Dakota Indians died in a mass execution on this site. … “

At 10am on 26 December 1862, the 38 Dakota prisoners were hanged in Mankato, Minnesota. It remains to this day, the largest mass execution in U.S. history. They were buried en masse in a trench along the riverbank. Within days, many bodies were taken out of the grave and distributed to area doctors to be used as cadavers.

Reconciliation Park memorial
The names of the 38 Dakota Warriors executed in Mankato. The monument is in ‘Reconciliation Park’.

The rest of the convicted prisoners were taken to Camp McClennan in Iowa, where they were held prisoner for the next four years. One third had died by the time of release.
By April of 1863, the U.S. Congress had declared all treaties with the Dakota null and void. The systematic removal of the remaining Dakota people from Minnesota had begun. A bounty of $25 was placed on the scalp of any Dakota found within the State.


Chief Little Crow
Chief Little Crow

After the Battle of Wood Lake, Little Crow and many of his warriors went west. By spring of 1863, they were camped near the Canadian/US border. Having lost the war and his native land, Little Crow realized that his people would have to live a mobile existence to survive. Looking to steal horses, Little Crow and his son Wowinapa returned to southern Minnesota.
On the evening of 3 July 1863, Little Crow and Wowinapa were spotted picking strawberries (or raspberries) by Nathan Lamson and his son Chauncey. After a brief gunfight, Nathan Lamson was wounded, Little Crow was dead and Wowinapa had escaped.

Little Crow marker
Roadside marker near where Little Crow was killed

First Little Crow’s scalp was brought back to the town of Hutchinson, and eventually his body was dragged down main street, with firecrackers placed in his ears and nose. His beheaded body was thrown into a pit at the slaughter house.
It was not until Wowinapa was captured in the Dakota Territory in late July of 1863 that authorities learned that the dead Dakota in Hutchinson was Little Crow. The body was exhumed, and it was confirmed to be the body of the Dakota chief. Nathan Lamson received $500 for “rendering great service to the State”, and Chauncey received $75 for the scalp.

Little Crow plaque

The Minnesota Historical Society received Little Crow’s scalp, skull and other bones over the years. In 1971, they were given over to Little Crow’s grandson (Wowinapa’s son) for burial.

I-80 Westbound