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