Tag Archives: hockey

Border Battle Weekend

The Minnesota Golden Gophers host the Wisconsin Badgers this weekend at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. The Gophers will be celebrating their 1979 National Championship team on its 40th anniversary. Herb Brooks may be gone, but former players will be honored, and can no doubt be found wandering the rink’s concourse before games and during intermission.

The Gophers defeated North Dakota 4-3 in the title game in Detroit. They had three 70 point scorers on the team: Steve Christoff (77), Don Micheletti (72), and Neal Broten (71). Captain Bill Baker set a program record that year with 54 points from the blue line. Eight members of the 1978-79 Gopher hockey team would join Coach Herb Brooks at the 1980 Winter Olympics.

Prices at the concession stands are said to be at 1979 prices for Saturday’s game. Which makes me ask: Were they really charging $2.00 for a hotdog at the hockey end of Williams Arena back in 1979?

A program note: All University of Minnesota home games will be free to Federal employees & one guest, from now until the government shutdown ends.

Visuals courtesy of Golden Gopher Hockey


Hobart Amory Hare Baker

Revisiting Hobey Baker:


Hobey Baker in France during WWI

It was the centenary of Hobey Baker’s death on December 21. Considered the greatest hockey player of his era, Baker graduated from Princeton University in 1914. He was one of the first nine players inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and a charter member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. The annual award for the top U.S. college hockey player, is known as The Hobey Baker Award.

In 1916, Baker joined the civilian aviation corps, and in the summer of 1917, he left for Europe and WWI. In August of 1918, Baker took command of the 141st Aero Squadron. On 21 December 1918, in a heavy rain, Baker took a test flight in a recently repaired Spad biplane, refusing his men’s pleas to take his own plane for the flight instead. A quarter of a mile out, and 600 feet in the air, the engine quit on the Spad. Baker turned the plane, in an attempt to get back to the airfield. The Spad lost altitude, and crashed nose first. Baker was quickly freed from the wreckage by his men, but died within minutes in the ambulance. His orders to return home were in his jacket pocket.

Princeton University’s hockey team recently played Penn State University. Both teams took a field trip to Philadelphia to pay respects to Hobart Baker. Several players left hockey pucks on his headstone. Baker was three weeks shy of his 27th birthday when he died in France.


141st Aero Squadron Insigne: A Princeton Tiger; Courtesy of the National Museum of the USAF

I’ve read several books on Hobey Baker over the years. A new one was recently published. Hobey Baker, Upon Further Review, by Tim Rappleye. I might have to check it out.

—The verse written on Hobey’s headstone:

“You seemed winged, even as a lad,
With that swift look of those who know the sky,
It was no blundering fate that stooped and bade
You break your wings, and fall to earth and die,
I think some day you may have flown too high,
So that immortals saw you and were glad,
Watching the beauty of your spirits flame,
Until they loved and called you, and you came.”


Mariucci Classic Returns in 2019


Courtesy of University of Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey

NCAA D-1 hockey returns to the ice this weekend for some programs. Minnesota returns to Mariucci Arena to take on Ferris State for a two game series. Alaska will not return to the Carlson Center until after the New Year.

The University of Minnesota did announce the return of the Mariucci Classic for 2019. The post-Christmas tournament, hosted by the Minnesota Golden Gophers, was first held in 1991, but has been on a two year hiatus. The 2019, four team field, will consist of only schools from within Minnesota, for the first time ever. It will also be the first time St Cloud State University and Minnesota State University have competed in The Classic. It will be the third appearance for Bemidji State University.

That looks to be a fun weekend of college hockey.


Hockey Halftime


University of Alaska Nanooks hockey schedule poster 2018-19

We have reached the midpoint of the 2018-19 NCAA Division 1 hockey season. A few teams play this coming week, but the two teams I follow, Alaska & Minnesota, have reached their holiday break.

Minnesota returns to Mariucci Arena at the end of December for a non conference series against Ferris State University, who Alaska recently swept.

The Alaska Nanooks return to the big ice sheet of the Carlson Center next year on January 4th, with a two game series against Northern Michigan.

Happy Hockey Withdrawal.


The puck drops on 2018

Golden Gopher Hockey at Mariucci

The 2018-19 Division 1 college hockey season is now underway.

The University of Minnesota opened the season against last year’s national champion Minnesota-Duluth with a home and home series.

On Saturday the two programs skated to a tough 1-1 tie in Duluth.

Stub & Herb’s, a campus tradition

Minnesota came out in a flurry for new coach Bob Motzko’s first home game. At the end of the first period, the Gophers held a 3-0 lead, with sophomore Brannon McManus netting two.

The Gophers were overtaken by an unnatural desire to sit in the penalty box for period two, which gave Duluth some life. The Bulldogs would score the first two goals of the period, but Sammy Walker would follow up with a goal for Minnesota and Rem Pitlick would add a short handed tally for the Gophers. Minnesota now led 5-2.

The two teams would trade goals in the final frame, giving Minnesota a 7-4 win over their in-state rival.

The Bulldogs outshot Minnesota 46-23, mainly due to the nine penalties the Gophers took. Junior goaltender Mat Robson was solid in net for Minnesota.

It was a good atmosphere at Mariucci, with 8000+ fans in the stands for a Sunday night game.


Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

While in the province of Quebec, I was able to take in two QMJHL games with Brazil Lucas & The Curator.

The first was in Shawinigan, Quebec at the Centre Gervais Auto. The Shawinigan Cataractes were hosting the Sherbrooke Phoenix.

It was the 50th Anniversary for the Cataractes, so we were lucky enough to be on hand for the pregame celebration. The haze in the photos is from the celebratory smoke that hung in the air for the entire game.

This would prove to be a very entertaining game.

The Phoenix took a 2-1 lead in period one. Ryan Da Silva, whose parents we were sitting next to, would get an assist for Sherbrooke.

The second period saw the pucks flying everywhere. Shawinigan would score three, Sherbrooke two, and things were tied up at four. Da Silva notched another assist in the period.

The teams traded goals in the third, so we went to overtime. It was a 3 on 3 OT, which ended quickly with a goal for the home team.

Cataractes win 6-5.

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The second game was at the Quebec City Videotron Centre. We would watch the Sherbrooke Phoenix once again, this time taking on the Quebec Remparts.

This was not quite as entertaining of a game. Even though the score was close, the Phoenix never really seemed to get things going. Goal tender Brendan Cregan kept Sherbrooke in the game, especially early on.

The first period was scoreless. Quebec took a 2-0 lead at the end of two. The Phoenix did score two in the third, with Ryan Da Silva getting one assist, but the Remparts also scored two. The final was 4-2 Remparts over the Phoenix.

The Vidéotron Centre is quite the hockey arena for a Junior team. It seats just over 18,000 for hockey. The announced crowd was 8500 for a Sunday afternoon game.


Montreal Canadiens

Centre Bell; Montreal, Quebec

When in Montreal…

Brazil Lucas, The Curator and I spent much of Saturday exploring downtown Montreal. With a Habs game on the agenda for that night.

It would be my first game at Bell Centre, home of the Canadiens.

Warmups

The Ottawa Senators were in town to play the Habs. It was a preseason game, but when you’re traveling and have the opportunity to take in a home game of one of the Original Six, you can’t be fussy.

Opening face off

Ottawa drew blood first in the opening period , as Brady Tkachuk beat Carey Price. Cody Ceci doubled the Senators lead in the second.

Montreal finally got on the board with a goal early in period three on a score by Tomas Tatar. Nikita Scherbak would tie the game, and Paul Byron would put the Habs up for good. Price would end the game with 15 saves on 17 shots. Montreal outshot Ottawa 32-17 In the 3-2 Canadiens win.

Mike Reilly, #28

Mike Reilly, the product of Chanhassen, Minnesota, is now a member of the Montreal Canadiens, after being traded last year from the Minnesota Wild. I realized at the game that I have seen Reilly play for four teams now: the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Iowa Wild, Minnesota Wild, and Montreal Canadiens.

Reilly, a 25 year old defenseman, was the Second Star of the game against Ottawa. It was probably the best game I have seen him play since he wore Maroon & Gold.