Tag Archives: ice

Weathering

From Sunday morning to Monday afternoon, my rain gauge totaled 1.9″. That’s a fair amount of precipitation for us in the Interior.
On Friday, we saw the mercury rise to 90 degrees, on Tuesday morning, I found a layer of ice on my truck’s bed cover. ICE!
One never knows what’s around the corner up here. Which, of course, is half the fun.


Duluth takes on Denver in Chicago

The Frozen Trifecta was back at the United Center on Saturday for some college hockey. The University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs were facing the Denver University Pioneers for the Division 1 Championship. For the first time since the playoff selection went to the 16 team format, we had the #1 ranked team taking on the 2nd ranked team. Denver was the top seed, and they looked like it against Notre Dame in the semi-finals. Duluth would have their hands full.

Denver continued where it left off against the Irish, and really dominated play to start the first period. Duluth settled down around the 10 minute mark, and the game was scoreless after one.

Then things became interesting. Jarid Lukosevicius scored for the Pioneers at the 4:44 mark of period two. The announcer was still calling out who had assists on the goal, when Lukosevicius scored again, just 16 seconds later. Denver could smell blood, and Duluth was in chaos, when the official called a television timeout, and the Bulldogs were able to regroup.
Alex Iafallo, the hero from Thursday night, scored a power play goal for UMD, to make the score 2-1. Lukosevicius, out to prove that the third time really is a charmer, scored his third tally of the night. Lukosevicius’ hat trick happened over a span of 7 minutes, 39 seconds. The last time there was a hat trick in the championship game was in 1993, when the Denver head coach, Jim Montgomery, scored one for Maine against Lake Superior State.

The third period began with Duluth down 3-1, and they came out on fire. Much of the play was in the Denver zone, and the Bulldogs were flying to the puck. Riley Tufte finally put one behind Pionner goalie Tanner Jaillet. UMD suddenly had new life, and they stepped up the pressure even more. Duluth outshot Denver in the third period 17-3. But Jaillet, who had just won the Mike Richter Award as the Nation’s top college goal tender, held firm. Denver would keep that one goal lead, after a wild third period, to earn their 8th National Championship in hockey.


DU players celebrate on the ice

Jaillet would make 38 saves for Denver, and Hunter Miska would have 25 for Duluth.
Announced attendance was 19,783.

The Frozen Four moves to St Paul, MN for the 2018 championship.


The Schott

Schottenstein Center
Columbus, Ohio

The Schott exterior

I returned to the site of the 2005 Frozen Four, the Value City Arena inside the Jerome Schottenstein Center, at The Ohio State University, in the middle of Columbus, Ohio. Whew! That’s a lot to plug in an opening sentence.

OSU Pep Band

The OSU Pep Band was there to greet me as I came through the front door. Very considerate, as I had driven a long way to attend.

The Golden Bear

There is a lot of sports history at OSU, and all sports are represented on the banner that runs along both sides of the walkway around the rink, or court, depending on who is playing.

Warmups at the Schott

But, we are back to hockey, as the Wisconsin Badgers took on the Ohio State Buckeyes on the ice. The Schott is a nice venue, but I wouldn’t say it’s all that and a bag of chips for hockey. The first eight rows are temporary seating, where the rows rise slowly, putting everyone farther away from the action than should be. It’s a big venue, with over 17,000 seats for hockey, but the upper bowl is blocked off by black sheets, and even the seats at one end of the ice received the black sheet treatment. For all of Ohio State’s rich athletic history, hockey still remains an afterthought on campus.

Badgers during warmups

The Badgers would draw first blood, but they should not have. Ohio State was on the power play, and had a flurry in front of the Wisconsin net, Jack Berry made several saves, but seemed to lose sight of the puck in the melee. Somehow, the Badgers gained control, and Luke Kunin (of course) scored a nice short handed goal at the other end with one second left on the power play.
Matthew Freytag would score before the period was over, only his second goal of the year, for a 2-0 Badger lead.

Ohio State scored the only goal of the second period, with an absolutely beautiful pass out of the corner by Mason Jobst to Matthew Weis, who was right in front of the net. 2-1 Badgers after two.

Ohio State did finally step things up in the third period, but Berry was up to the task and didn’t allow another puck to get past him.
A lot of bad blood out there between the two squads. From early in the first period, the two teams were throwing punches, and there were constant skirmishes, often away from the puck.

Ryan Wagner finished up the scoring with an empty net goal for Wisconsin, which was assisted by Kunin. Giving Kunin a two point night. Berry finished with 26 saves for Wisconsin, and Christian Frey had 22 for OSU.

Most schools have some amusing traditions for the outsider, and OSU was no exception. I did enjoy the rendition of “The Hockey Song” during the second intermission, with the band members leading the way. Nice job. “Do I play hockey?”


Mascots on Ice

White Bear Mitsubishi in the Twin Cities area filmed a rather problematic commercial at Mariucci Arena, the home of the Minnesota Golden Gopher hockey team.

The Alaska Polar Bear is much better on ice.

Video tip comes courtesy of Knoxville.


Sunset… at 3pm

Winter Sunset


Walk-In Freezer

Fifteen Below

The hardest part about leaving Alaska’s Interior in the winter, is returning to the Interior in the winter. Especially, when you rely on a wood stove for your heat source.

It was in the vicinity of -22F outside when I unlocked the cabin door. My ride from the airport was in a car with a thermometer that stops at -22, and my outdoor thermometer finally gave up the ghost around September.
The thermometer inside the cabin clearly read -15F.

Stoke that fire

The plan:
Get a fire going in the wood stove.
Start the truck, and let that warm up.
Add firewood and plug in the stack robber.
Drive to the store to pick up enough groceries to get me through a day or two.
Return to a slightly warmer cabin, add firewood, turn on the heated mattress pad, then walk over to the neighbor’s for dinner.

Stack robber

What actually happened:
I left Alaska in such a hurry that I forgot to have kindling ready.
First step was to put on a hat and warmer gloves. It was 6pm.
Second step was to split some spruce for kindling.
Once the fire was going, I went out to start the truck, but my neighbor did not plug it in like I requested. For the first time, my Chevy did not start.
Plugged in truck.
Returned to cabin to add firewood and plug in stack robber.
Walked over to the neighbor, and casually mentioned my truck did not start.
Borrowed neighbor’s warm car to drive to town.
Returned with groceries to a cabin that had warmed to -5F. Progress at 8pm.
Added firewood.
Walked over to neighbor’s for a strong cocktail, and dinner.
Returned to my cabin at 10pm to add firewood and crank up heated mattress pad to a level I’ve never experienced before. The cabin was now at +20F.
Went back to neighbor’s for another cocktail.
Returned to my cabin at midnight. The air temperature was +55F inside the cabin. Tolerable. I filled the wood stove, and went to bed exhausted. I had been up for 23 hours. Love travel days.
Was awake by 7am. The cabin was now 65 degrees. The water jug on the counter was starting to thaw; those on the floor were still solid blocks of ice.
It total, in took 36 hours for the cabin to truly heat up, reaching all nooks and crannies, and for walls, furniture and a fully stocked wood pile to stop radiating cold.
Chevy starts up immediately after being plugged in overnight.


Death in the Backyard

Moose 1
A moose as seen from the deck this past November

I received an email from a concerned party today that carried the title: “7 Things in Your Backyard that could Kill You”. I was touched by the concern, so I opened the email out of curiosity to find out just what was lurking in my backyard.

1) Pesticide-Infused Grass: Not really a concern.
I don’t have any grass. No lawn. No lawn mower. It’s pretty much just wild tundra out there, and it does what it does.

2)Dog poo: There is poo scattered all about. I currently do not have a dog, but the neighbor does, and the dogs are often over at my place, because I’m so damn friendly. The pack has been thinned out over the past winter, however, and the neighbor’s dogs now number two. When it was at the high end of five, I even found dog poop on my roof. True story.

3)Ticks & Lyme disease: Not a problem.
I don’t believe I have ever had a tick on me in Alaska, and I’m outdoors all the time. When I did have a dog, even he did not have to worry about lyme disease.

4)Bees: I can already tell this will be a Bee Year. The yellow jackets have been out in force.

5)Backyard Burning: Nice catch!
With as dry as it has been, backyard burning is a huge risk. I refused to let my neighbor burn two weeks ago, luckily the Borough backed me up with an emergency burn ban. Some idiot will no doubt start a wild fire, with the upcoming Memorial Weekend being a good time frame. As of two weeks ago, there had been 124 fires in Alaska this year, with 122 of them started by man.

6)The swimming pool, especially the hot tub:
This one actually gave me a case of the giggles. I do have a pond in the back yard though, complete with resident leeches. If anything, this is more of a danger in the winter, when we are out on the ice lighting the methane pockets with a propane torch.

7)Tanning: I’m not sure we really have to worry about this one a whole helluva lot either. With all the bug dope on, can the sun’s rays reach flesh?

I was disappointed that the list was so obviously incomplete. Where is the grizzly bear on this list? What about moose? I’ve had moose hanging around the cabin since breakup; one seems to walk right past my shop every morning. Once mamma moose drops her calf or calves, you can count on her being ornery more often than not. I’m not even getting into the fact that there is moose poop everywhere. The horror!

Is there actually a world out there where the greatest health threat is dog poo? Although, I admit, it really torques me when I find it on my roof. I am thankful that I’ve never found moose poop up there, however.

Fairbanks griz
Grizzly seen on Murphy Dome Road