Wednesday, October 31, 2007

They Really Do Capture the Spirit of the Thing

Inside College Hockey's motto is "Just trying to capture the spirit of the thing..." - and they do.

The title-linked story is yet another fantastic story that brings home the reality of college hockey for all of us.

Thanks to Jess Myers at INCH for the story and MeanEgirl, the Michigan Tech blogger for spreading the word about it.

You might want to have a tissue on hand.

I can confidently say that there is not a better sport or sports community than in college hockey.

To Coach Russell, his family and especially his son, Ben - get well! Wildcat Nation wishes you all our best.

*As a late-addition further note, a trivial footnote I know, but Matt Fornataro is also their Player of the Week.

Go 'Cats!

Passing The Torch

Alright, yeah I know... real facetious title. I suppose it would be more appropriately titled Taking the Torch... alright, nevermind.

What's this all about?

The College Hockey News has declared the University of New Hampshire Wildcats their Division I Men's Hockey Team of the Week(Click the title-linked title of this post) following our sweep of the previous week's title-holder.

The honor had belonged, deservingly so, to the Colorado College Tigers who were coming off of a sweep of the Minnesota Golden Gophers at home. They came into the Whittemore Center and immediately showed what their program was about. They were fast, very fast, and they got to the net. Add to that the fact that they don't allow the opposing team to get anywhere in front of the net with the puck in their end and you have a very formidable opponent indeed.

But our 'Cats would not be denied. They battled back from a first period 3-1 deficit, scoring three third period goals - a feat that they had accomplished in the previous game and one that they would repeat the following night - that included an empty-netter to seal the victory each night. One of the most overlooked features of the game each night was the play of the netminders. On the first night, late in the game with our 'Cats up by one, Kevin Regan made a great pokecheck stop under breakaway conditions. It was a two on one situation in which the defender committed to the CC shooter who fed the puck to his line mate for a short drive in on Regan. The CC forward shifted to his backhand, Regan's right, then, with Regan out beyond the top of his crease moving with the attacker, right back to his forehand directly in front of Regan. At which point Regan either caught or lost an edge or losing his balanced was forced to poke the puck away while falling backward, just before the CC player could shoot. The next night, with multiple CC attackers in front and the UNH defense looking somewhat sparse, three attempts were made to put CC into the lead in the third period only to be turned away and finally snared by Brian Foster. Playing to the right side of his crease Brian turned the first shot away with a right leg kick from the butterfly position that was looking for the short side. The rebound found its way to another CC player for a similar shot forcing Foster to react to his right again against the recoil of his body from the first save demonstrating tremendous agility, focus and flexibility. The ensuing rebound from this save found its way to the front on the stick of another CC player for a wrist shot from about 10 feet in front of Foster who smoothly and calmly executed a neat glove save to end the flurry. How about a hand for the goaltenders!?

The result is a three and 'o' start - a first since the '03-'04 season.

But I think that the article raises some very interesting points about our team and our coaches who have built this team from the ground up. There are insights into the character of freshmen James vanRiemsdyk. As well as our Captain, Matt Fornataro, who mentions his frustration at the lack of a National Championship. My two cents: guys, the only time a National Championship counts is when you're here and the experience of having won one for you to look back on some day. To Matt I say, you're still here man, you've always got this shot at it - no regrets! We're with you all the way!

Go 'Cats!

Monday, October 29, 2007


Well, it's nice to be able to be critical of a couple games when you've just swept a highly ranked national opponent in Colorado College.

The Tigers came into Towse Rink and played some great hockey and really looked like they left it all on the ice. They should be called the Flying Tigers with the speed that they showed on the ice this weekend. Aside from a couple players the Tigers were consummate sportsmen (neglecting the perceived slight when they failed to shake hands after the first game as they were merely following normal WCHA protocol) and while the penalties on the weekend were nearly even the Tigers seemed to commit far fewer offenses than did our 'Cats and when they did, the penalties were often drawn by the hard work of a couple of our Wildcats.

So, how 'bout them 'Cats.

Number one criticism - effort. The lackluster effort and play of the first period of the first three games of the year is totally unacceptable. In three games, out of thirteen goals scored, we have exactly ONE first period goal. Second period goals, THREE. And that's right, NINE third period goals - three in each game thus far. Now it is nice to see that we are beating teams by working progressively harder through the game but it should not come at the expense of poor play early on. I think this factor, that our team is outlasting the competition, speaks volumes to the early conditioning of this team which undoubtedly extends from our extremely fit, point leading Captain, Matt Fornataro. Regardless of the fact that our guys have beaten good opponents thus far it will bite us in the future if, no when, they run up against an equally fit team that puts in a sixty minute effort.

Number two - special teams. This goes hand-in-hand with number one in that a lack of effort most often leads to a special teams situation. At best our special teams have been weak. It is obviously an area that they will work on and improve but it should just reinforce the emphasis on effort - especially skating and reducing stick work to the body. I noticed an interesting feature to these two games - that the more experienced guys, our upperclassmen, were called most often for this obstruction penalty. The main difference that I noted was that our younger players are already used to this emphasis from their junior leagues and they tend to use their sticks like a limp noodle as compared to an ax or a shepherd's crook. When you factor in the penalty the limp noodle approach was much more effective and it actually works to legally disrupt the puck carrier. Hopefully you can teach an old 'Cat some new tricks because it seems like these youngsters have a number of them. And that brings me to point three.

Number three - scoring chances. Quite simply our men were not getting to the prime scoring areas. In stark contrast to this was the first career goal (which showed that there will be many more) of Paul Thompson! As I mentioned from my live-blogging of the game, Paul seemed very Hemingway-esque in that he found a weak back door on the right post and banged in the near perfect Dan Dries pass - for Dan's first point as well! The only other player to have created or found any space in front was Matt Fornataro, who collected the brilliantly redirected puck off of James vanRiemsdyk's skate, all alone in the paint of all places! (there is almost no chance that James did not mean to redirect that puck as it caromed off of the back boards from the wide Flaishans' shot, the puck coming off of James' angled skate almost right to tape of the wide open Fornataro, behind the recovering Bachman) But! It was on the powerplay. So, get open in the high-percentage scoring areas and remember that when the play turns to offense it is all about putting the puck in the back of the net.

Synopsis: Effort, Special Teams, High-Percentage scoring areas

If our 'Cats buckle down in these areas and execute they will be unstoppable.

Player of the Week - easily, Matt Fornataro

Rookie of the Week - Paul Thompson - I was very impressed with Paul's play and you can see him quickly adapting. He skated well and learned to get the puck to the net quickly already and was excellent in using his body for physical play throwing a number of great finishing checks.

Unspoken Hero - Jerry Pollastrone - really proved his effectiveness over the weekend when many had doubts - I never did.

Great job team.

Overall a lot of great play throughout the line-up. When these guys are full out it is just a joy to watch. If they give us sixty minutes the Whitt will be pumping at mega-watt levels as these boys can really electrify the crowd.

Go 'Cats!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday's Pro Notes

Darren Haydar got the lone assist on an Ilya Kovlachuk break-away goal giving the Atlanta Thrashers a 2-1 against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Thrashers would go on to win by a score of 3-2. Darren adds to his hoard which currently stands at 1 goal and 4 assists and a plus-minus rating of +4 in just 8 games. He ranks tied for third on the team in scoring with Vyacheslav Kozlov who has 4 goals, 1 assist and is a -4 in 11 games. Darren's +4 leads the team.

Darren is currently skating on a forward line of fairly fresh-faces to the NHL with a mere 140 NHL games between them that includes University of Vermont standout, Eric Perrin who has the most NHL experience of the three, and Bryan Little a young, up-and-comer who last skated with the Barrie Colts of the OHL and on the Canadian World Junior team before joining the Chicago Wolves late last season for two playoff games. This line started this game versus the Chicago Blackhawks and generated a Haydar shot on net just 48 seconds in.

Daniel Winnik was even on the night as the Phoenix Coyotes were defeated by the Dallas Stars 5-3. Winnik was held without a shot and at 1 goal and 2 assists and is a -5 in 0 games.

Mark Mowers was last in action Thursday night as the Anaheim Ducks fell to the Coyotes as I reported before. Mark has been held to just 1 goal in 10 games and is EVEN on the season as the Ducks struggle to return to their winning ways that saw them capture the Stanley Cup last season. Mark and the Ducks return to action today versus Edmonton.

Jason Krog has been held oddly scoreless for this weekend's games leaving him stuck at 3 goals and 2 assists over 7 games and a +2. He and his Chicago Wolves won the first of those games and dropped the second 0-1 in overtime ending their perfect start to the season.

Captain Garrett Stafford scored en route to a 5-3 victory for his Grand Rapids Griffins. The goal improved Garrett's numbers to 2 goals and 2 assists in 7 games and a +1 rating. They'll take on the Peoria Rivermen again today in a rematch of last night but at home in the Van Andel Arena where the puck drops at 4pm EDT

Brian Yandle led his Phoenix Roadrunners Friday night, still without the help of Chris Murray(who was moved from the 3-day to the 7-day Injured Reserve), with 2 goals and an assist, figuring on the first three Phoenix goals, but it was not enough to overcome Kevin Truelson and his Bakersfield Condors who gained a 6-4 edge with a late empty-net goal that was answered by the Roadrunners with too little, too late, to the 6-5 loss. Brian was a -2 with one of his goals and his one assist coming on the powerplay (doesn't count toward +/-) and Kevin was a -1 - they both had 6 shots.

That's all I have time for, for now.

I'll update tomorrow along with Happy Hockey Monday.

*Ok, I'm back and have a little time, here it goes.

Sean Collins put up three assists over two games on the weekend and his Wheeling Nailers are resting today after splitting the weekend games. Sean has increased his totals to 5 assists in 4 games and is a +1 - come on, Sean, put some pucks in the net!

The Fresno Falcons lost and won as well but Josh Ciocco and Brett Hemingway were held pointless on the weekend.

And the Bakersfield Condors' Kevin Truelson chalked up his second goal of the year in the losing effort to those same Fresno Falcons as they two won one and dropped one on the weekend as well.

Future 'Cats

Greg Burke potted a goal and helped on another to see his Jr. Monarchs to a 6-1 victory this morning.

Steve Moses also netted a goal in this weekend's action capping the scoring in a 4-0 rout of the Bay State Breakers by his Jr. Bruins.

Matt DiGirolamo and Blake Kessel nabbed a shootout victory over the Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets with their Waterloo Blackhawks. DiGirolamo stopped 29 of 31 shots through overtime and turned away 6 of 7 shootout attempts to the win.

Matt White helped twice to give his Omaha Lancers the lead and an insurance goal before they netted an empty netter along the way to a 4-1 win over the Des Moines Buccaneers.

And the Green Bay Gamblers skated to a 4-2 win over the Chicago Steel. Mike Borisenok was held pointless in this game, ending his three game scoring streak, but was a +1 in the effort.

See you tomorrow morning for Happy Hockey Monday!

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Scoring in Game 2 vs. CC - UNH 4 - CC 2

First Period

no scoring

Second Period

1-0 @ 2:50 UNH goal - Fornataro(4)[vanRiemsdyk(3),Flaishans(3)] - PP

1-1 @ 13:10 CC goal - Sweatt[Jack Hillen,Chad Rau] - PP

Third Period

2-1 @ 4:33 UNH goal - Flaishans(1)[Switzer(1),Fornataro(2)] - PP

2-2 @ 9:52 CC goal - McCulloch[Jack Hillen,Vlassopoulos] - PP

3-2 @ 10:08 UNH goal - P.Thompson(1)[Dries(1),Charlebois(1)]

4-2 @ 19:54 UNH goal - LeBlanc(1)[Pollastrone(2)] - EN


UNH - Foster - 31 saves, 2.00 GAA and a .939 save percentage - win(1)

CC - Bachman - 21 saves, 3.00 GAA and a .875 save percentage - loss

October 27, 2007 - vs. Colorado College

Thompson owns the game-winner with that very Hemingway-esque goal!


4-2 'Cats!

:6 seconds!

LeBlanc seals it with great moves up the ice on the empty net!

2:20 to play icing the other way as the CC player skated in circles waiting for it to cross the goal line

2:53 to play icing by the Tigers

What a nice play by the first line! Charlebois walked in off a nice lofted backhand from Radja as he headed for center-ice in the CC zone and then Fornataro just could not get to the rebound.

5:10 to play

First even-strength goal of the night!

3-2 'Cats! P.Thompson(1)[Charlebois(1), Dries(1)]

Paul Thompson answers!

2-2 as the refs refuse to whistle the play when Foster covers and whistle right away when Bachman covers - poked in from underneath Foster

Hopefully the Coaches can teach these old 'Cats new tricks

4-on-4 (Butler, hooking) - :14

Stop whacking the body with the stick guys!

UNH POWERPLAY - Bad Tigers! (Walsky wraps up Dries gets a holding the stick call)

4:-- Flaishans(1)[Switzer(1), Fornataro(2)]

As Dan Parkhurst said - the BLAST FROM FLAISHANS!

A FIVE-ON-THREE @ 16:00 - LONG 5-on-3


Start of Third

Hopefully the third will show some emotion, some skating, some hitting and some scoring!

They just don't seem to care tonight.

End of Second

Where's the effort guys!? Where's the hitting!? Where's the skating!?

FINALLY, UNH POWERPLAY (Patrosso, hooking)

Being outshot 22-10. Penalties are 8 UNH, 6 CC

Refs lost control of this game as soon as they let CC shove after the save, guess that's how they thing you play hockey out west.

Now it's getting ridiculous! Pollastrone gets called off a face-off battle!

5 minutes to play in the second

Still on the penaltykill

1-1 Hillen (Rau, Vlassopoulos)
You've got to expect that with poor effort and poor reffing

Another dive an a poorly executed check by Fornataro will send the powerplay the other way

Nullified by a dive and Craig Switzer getting lazy

5-ON-3 :43


vanRiemsdyk draws another penalty


Penaltykill (Switzer for Holding) - half-killed already

1-0 Cats! @ 1:50 Fornataro(4) [vanRiemsdyk(3),Flaishans(3)]

Fornataro Scores!

17:35 to play - UNH POWERPLAY - nicely drawn by Paul Thompson


Start of Second

Expect to see vanRiemsdyk instigated all year long. It's very poor sportsmanship but we've seen it in every game (although perhaps not the BU game). Everybody is always trying to knock off the best. Also CC is trying to make up for its lack of physicality by undercutting, or tripping with the body, a very dangerous play that can leave a player severely injured but there have been no calls thus far.

Well, the first is done. It almost seemed like they didn't even care about the first period. I guess they're going to turn it on now. Still wish they would play all sixty minutes. Not as much throwing around of weight tonight - let's see some more of that guys!

End of Period (:53 to kill of Radja's penalty)

Penaltykill, 4-on-3 (Radja, high-sticking)

4-on-4 (JVR and Patrosso)

Nice play on the body by Fornataro in deep

Less than 5 minutes in the first

Stats right now showing CC with a 9-3 margin on shots


vanRiemsdyk made a great play by one defender then got undercut by another

Two excellent saves by Foster and a third!

Butler just leveled a guy on the penaltykill and walked in with the puck then shot wide... took it away again right after that!

Penaltykill (Fornataro - hooking [very questionable as it did nothing])


UNH POWERPLAY (N.PROSSER - contact to the head)

13:17 to play in the first
Thompson-DeSimone-Dries looking good again tonight

Take the body boys!

15:00 to play in the first

Not much doing thus far - but vanRiemsdyk is already playing with his new friend, Nate Prosser of CC again. :)

Start of First

Game's about to start, expect to see the same lines with Brian Foster getting his first start of the season.

Go 'Cats!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Scoring in Game 1 vs. CC - UNH 5, CC 3

First Period

0-1 @ 2:12 CC goal Walsky[Johnson]

0-2 @ 9:40 CC goal Kilpatrick[Rau]

1-2 @ 9:48 UNH goal Butler(1)[Flaishans(1), Radja(2)]

1-3 @ 15:10 CC goal Hillen[Sweatt]

Second Period

2-3 @ 00:15 UNH goal Fornataro(2)[vanRiemsdyk(2), Flaishans(2)]

Third Period

3-3 @ 9:45 UNH goal Pollastrone(1)[Butler(1), LeBlanc(1)]

4-3 @ 17:29 UNH goal Pollastrone(2)[LeBlanc(2), Butler(2)]

5-3 @ 19:10 UNH goal Fornataro(3)[unassisted] - empty net


UNH - Regan - 19 saves, 3.00 GAA and a .864 save percentage - win(2)

CC - O'Connell - 32 saves, 4.00 GAA and a .865 save percentage - loss

October 26, 2007 - vs. Colorado College

What'd I tell you bro - 5-3!

5-3 'Cats @ 19:50 Fornataro(3)[unassisted]

Empty net goal Fornataro from Pollastrone!

Less than 30 seconds - empty net CC

Less than a minute to play - Timeout CC - and a standing ovation from the crowd!

Instant Replay! It was so good the refs want to see it again!

4-3 'Cats! @ 17:29 Pollastrone(2)[Butler(2)]!

A minute to go on the powerplay

UNH POWERPLAY on the work of James vanRiemsdyk again! 4:10 to play

The refs have a lot to work on in this two ref system

6:00 to play

Craig 'The Fourth Forward' Switzer gets saved by Kevin Regan with a CC player all alone in front after he pinched in unnecessarily and deep

3-3! @ 9:45 Pollastrone(1)[Butler(1), LeBlanc(1)]

Jerry Pollastrone gets knocked down gets back up holds it and shoots and scores!

And 11:27 to play

13:25 to play


And interference on Pollastrone

Should have call another on CC as vanRiemsdyk was held again


The boys need to take control of this game again.

18:00 to play

Start of Third

That's the hockey they need to play and now all they need to do is sear it into their brains that they live for putting the puck in the back of the net.

End of Second


Back on the penaltykill

Almost, even strength

Finally a UNH POWERPLAY! @ 5:50 of the second

And we're rushing 4 guys! Crazy! But we're all over them in the offensive zone.

Still playing very physical - I like it!

Full-Strength - just over half-way through

5-on-4 for 1:37 - almost back-to-back powerplays for CC

Covered puck and Benedetto was just letting them have at Regan and penalizes Fritsch for protecting Regan. 5-on-3 penalty-kill

13:15 on the clock in the second

Have no idea what they're calling but another penaltykill for us - called interference on Dries.

Totally controlling play, 5-on-5 looks like a UNH powerplay and then we're all over them on the forecheck

Looking a lot more like the Wildcat Team I love this period although the defense just played a CC offensive move a bit soft

We're at the 3:00 mark of the second

Fornataro had missed one in the first that he should have had


2-3 @ :15 Fornataro(2)[vanRiemsdyk(2),Flaishans(2)]
shot and score by Fornataro from vanRiemsdyk

Start of Second

We have not seen a powerplay yet and CC has managed the bounces very well and the shots are not as close as they look (supposedly 8-7, I didn't see 7 from us). CC shots are coming from the slot and our shots are coming from the outside. If we want more goals we've got to get to the prime scoring areas.

End of First

Score is just reflecting the puck getting on the net

1-3 @ 15:10 Hillen[Sweatt]
powerplay goal tipped/screened in front

Switzer takes a necessary penalty in the defensive zone

Paul Thompson and Phil DeSimone look like they are moving very well and putting the body on the Tigers extremely well.

Finished killing a Fortney penalty - 6:45 in the first

Bobby Butler answers!

1-2 @ 9:48 Butler(1)[Flaishans(1)]
8 seconds later - good shot low stick side from the off-wing

0-2 @ 9:40
on a 2-on-1 a good shot beat Regan high over the blocker shoulder

CC likes to shove after the whistle but can't hit during play matching penalties on Dries and Prosser

11:23 left in the first

So far not much of anything going on either way. The guys aren't connecting well on passes but what really stands out is the physical play of our guys. CC is getting the puck on net a bit better for now.

16:30 left in the first

0-1 @ 2:12 Walsky[Johnson]
on a junk goal in front that Regan couldn't corral

Nice to see the cameras catch Jim Abbott in the stands with his boy!

Starting Line-Up:

James vanRiemsdyk, Mike Radja, Matt Fornataro, Craig Switzer, Brad Flaishans

Full UNH Line-Up:

21 vanRiemsdyk--22 Radja--39 Fornataro
11 Pollastrone--9 LeBlanc--12 Butler
8 Collins--17 Forney--14 Sislo
15 Dries--23 DeSimone--20 Thompson

4 Switzer--19 Flaishans
2 Fritsch--7 Charlebois
18 Krates--5 Kapstad

32 Regan
29 Foster

Paul Thompson will skate in the place of Danny Rossman

In Goal:

Kevin Regan vs. Drew O'Connell

While we're waiting - Al Pike's article in advance of this match-up.

6:44pm - Warm-ups are nearly done and I'll be posting the line-up as soon as I know it.

Go 'Cats!

Hockey East Note - Jon Quick (UMASS)

Jon Quick recorded his first win as a professional goaltender, his first shutout and SCORED A GOAL - and we're talking about just one game (title-link to the ECHL article).

Jon is part of the goaltending duo, alongside Jeff Pietrasiak, for the Reading Royals.

Congratulations Jon! Well done!

Hope everyone is psyched for this weekend's series starting tonight versus Colorado College! If not, get pumped! Catch the games online ( for broadband video or the 'Live Stats' link to the right for dial-up), on television (NHPTV) or on the radio through the Yahoo! Broadcast - links for all can be found right here on your UNH Men's Hockey Blog! And I'll be posting updates here as well!

Go 'Cats!

Where's The Scoring?

So much for the new NHL.

Last night saw the match-up between Daniel Winnik (Phoenix Coyotes) and Mark Mowers (Anaheim Ducks) come down to just one goal that saw Daniel a +1 and Mark a -1, and the Coyotes win 1-0.

The Bruins game was fairly settled by former college hockey players that attended rival schools. Jonathan Toews (North Dakota) scored between Phil Kessel (Minnesota - whose brother Blake is due in Durham next year) goals and that would be enough with an insurance goal by Glen Metropolit.

The average total goals per game was 4.3 - I'm expecting that this year's 'Cats will average better than that!

Go 'Cats!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

UNH/CC Future Connection

Actually there are a number of them but most interestingly, there is a future connection between both the Colorado College Tigers Hockey team and our own University of New Hampshire Wildcats - and it comes from a surprising place - California.

More specifically the Beach City Lightning Youth Hockey program. Both of our teams are to become home to former Lightning players as evidenced by this nice Alumni Tribute page on the title-linked (just click on the title of this post) Beach City website.

The Tigers have a verbal commitment from Dakota Eveland for 2010 and our own Future 'Cat, Matt White, 2009, both came up through the Beach City Lightning Youth Hockey Program. The two have joined forces this year on an Omaha Lancers team that is undefeated in five games in the USHL.

Speaking of Matt, I have uncovered a simply beautiful story about Matt put together by Inside College Hockey (INCH). It is so nice getting to know you a little better, Matt - you seem to be a tremendous young man. Keep up the great work you have put into your life to get this far and I'm sure it will carry you much further.

So, tomorrow, destinies collide. By season's end these two games are bound to have implications for the National Tournament for both clubs. UNH Athletic Director, Marty Scarano, who came to Durham from Colorado Springs' very own Colorado College - I'm sure there's some bragging rights there somewhere. Upholding our end of the bargain with the University of Denver Pioneers' fans to sweep their arch-rivals as they did ours. And the story of two young men whose future teams will battle in two games starting this Friday night - and probably some friendly bragging rights between these two as well.

Go 'Cats!

'Cats A Plenty

Future 'Cats:

Blake Kessel and the Waterloo Blackhawks took on Mike Borisenok and the Green Bay Gamblers last night. Future 'Cat, Matt DiGirolamo had the night off for the Blackhawks and the Gamblers took advantage of goalie Joe Howe scoring three goals on twenty-seven shots with a helper on one of them coming from Mike himself giving him a three game point streak for two goals and that assist in seven games. Blake had an off night that left him a -2 after sixty minutes.

In other Future 'Cat news, both Kevin McCarey and Greg Burke are on the initial watch list of the Central Scouting Service for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.


Jacob Micflikier had an assist as his Stockton Thunder skated to a 4-0 shutout over Brian Yandle and the Phoenix Roadrunners who were without standout rookie Chris Murray.

Kevin Truelson once again laced up for the Bakersfield Condors but they would fall in the shootout to the Alaska Aces who got a shootout goal from Josh Soares(Maine).


Trevor Smith is still pointless in four games with the Sound Tigers who lost 3-4 to the Lowell Devils.

Garrett Stafford was held pointless last night but managed an impressive eight shots on net.

Jason Krog picked up a late assist on a goal that sent the game into overtime where Jason would win the game in the second round of the shootout.

Stats for the Pro 'Cats and Future 'Cats can be found in the right-hand column here just scroll down a little bit.

Also check back later today for an interest piece for this weekend's match-up with Colorado College.

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


It has arrived!

James vanRiemsdyk's, in the words of Coach Umile, sick goal. And he makes it look effortless.

Follow the title-link of this post to the very YouTube page.

So nice they played it twice!

I think someone is going to have to set it to some sweet music although, too bad there are no reverse angles. Come on ESPN! Where were you?

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Nifty16 at the USCHO Fan Forum for supplying the link! And thanks to Gjhoward3 for the clip!

Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We've Known It All Along

Darren Haydar is well on his way to proving what we've known all along - Darren Haydar is an NHL caliber hockey player.

Darren has picked up yet another assist giving him one goal and three assists in just six games and is a +3.

And sometimes you just have that feeling, you just know that one of your boys has contributed and sure enough, Mark Mowers ends his scoring drought with a goal tonight for his Anaheim Ducks. Mark potted the goal late in the second to bring his team to within one with the third period yet to be played as of this typing. It's Mark's first point in this, his ninth game of the year.


The Enemy of My Enemy...

...will root for us in the National Tournament?

I've been at work developing a bit of an alliance with the Denver Pioneers. See, the Pios saw fit to host our arch-rival, Maine, and beat the snot out of them - that's a lot of snot.

All they ask is that we return the favor by sweeping their arch-rival this weekend - the Colorado College Tigers. And in the process earn some good will for our stay in Denver at this year's Frozen Four. Sounds like a plan to me!

Check out the title-linked Let's Go DU blog post and look in the comment section.

Go 'Cats!

'Cats Helping the Roadrunners *Addition*

The Phoenix Roadrunners of the ECHL have set a franchise home-winning streak record already with the help of a couple 'Cats.

I've already known that Wildcat, Brian Yandle, was helping out the Roadrunners but some upstart rookie, some Chris Murray is leading all ECHL rookies in assists which ties him for second in rookie scoring so far in this young season, and is tied for seventh in league scoring with about 10 others. What!? I've been looking all over for Chris since being released from the Worcester Sharks of the AHL - and he's been under my Wildcat Eye all along.

Chris is a +2 and Brian has two assists of his own and is also a +2. You can follow the title-link to a brief ECHL write-up that mentions Chris and the Roadrunners' winning streak.

Nice job, guys! Keep it up!

*Found this on Nathan Martz - Nathan, you bad boy. What? You don't read Norsk? Alright then cheat and use the translation here*

Go 'Cats!

Monday, October 22, 2007

HHM *Late Addition*

Happy Hockey Monday!

Well, the puck is gliding and our men are off to a great start. There is not a lot to go over that I haven't already discussed, if you haven't been around this weekend feel free to peruse the last few posts. I've been updating stats from this side of the pond this morning and will update stats from the other side of the pond later today or tomorrow.

I'm still awaiting the highlight video of what, by all accounts, was a fantastic goal scored by freshman, James vanRiemsdyk. As a matter of fact in the words of Coach Umile it was "sick".

So, this coming weekend it will be time for our boys in Blue and White to go to work against the Tigers of Colorado College starting on Friday night. It should be a great weekend of hockey with the Tigers looking to avenge last year's sweep by our 'Cats in Colorado Springs. Look for our 'Cats to defend their territory with all they've got and improve upon any of the shortcomings revealed by this season's inaugural game against BU - mainly penalties and special teams.

*Seems like the BU blogger agrees about the game and points to this Daily Free Press article that talks about James vanRiemsdyk.

The games will be on NHPTV. Be sure to get on over to the NHPTV website. You can use the links here or go to and donate. The games are webcast and broadcast and are only available by the generosity of your support for your Public Broadcast System and especially New Hampshire Public Television.

Have a great week and check back often for all of your UNH Men's Wildcat Hockey stats, stories and news.

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Third Period’s the Charm

Scott Weigart's take on the game is the title of this post which is of course title-linked to Scott's very own article - best recap of the game out there, very well done, very well.

Worth a read.

For what it's worth I agree with the assessment about the penalties called in the game and I'd like to redact a rant from last season where I insisted that John just call all of the penalties and let the team sort it out - I was wrong. I think that Mr. Gravallese also raises a very valid question about the NCAA's rule enforcement emphasis as he seemed to call the game by the book for the first two.

Go 'Cats!

Professional Round-Up


Jason Krog assisted the tying goal and picked up the overtime game-winner maintaining his goal per game average as his Chicago Wolves defeated the Rockford IceHogs - absent their captain, Darren Haydar, who is of course playing, and playing great, for the NHL club, Atlanta Thrashers. That makes 3 goals and an assist in 3 games for Jason. Come on Darren, you're not keeping up ;)

Also in the AHL, Trevor Smith skated for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers who posted the win - Trevor was pointless for the night.


Kevin Truelson assisted on the game-winner as he and his Bakersfield Condors took down the Stockton Thunder 3-2 who got an assist from Jacob Micflikier on their first goal. Both Kevin and Jacob took a penalty on the night. And hopefully we'll see Kevin take up his blogger's cap again this year.

Andrew Leach assisted as well as his Trenton Devils beat Jeff Pietrasiak's Reading Royals - Jeff didn't play, as Jon Quick (Umass) suited up for his first professional game.

Josh Ciocco and Brett Hemingway's Fresno Falcons fell to the John Curry backed Las Vegas Wranglers. It was an overtime slashing call on Hemingway that led to the the winning goal, a 2-1 final.

Sean Collins netted a late assist. The goal pulled his Wheeling Nailers to within one but an empty net goal would seal the deal and they fell to one and one on the season - Sean has assist in each game.

Last night also saw Shawn Vinz and Brian Yandle suit up for the Charlotte Checkers and the Phoenix Roadrunners respectively in separate games. They were both held pointless.

Lots more action to come tonight!

Go 'Cats!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stats From Tonight's Game


Fornataro(1) (Pollastrone(1), Radja(1)) - 19:15 of the second period

Fritsch(1) (Fortney(1), Collins(1)) - 6:16 of the third period

Radja(1) (Fornataro(1), vanRiemsdyk(1)) - 14:15 of the third period

vanRiemsdyk(1) (unassisted) - 15:46 of the third period


Regan - 30 saves, 1.00 GAA and a .968 save percentage

The great Hockey East Online is title-linked.


Go 'Cats!

Season Opener - October 19th, 2007 @ BU

Without the penalties this game would have been 8-0. Our 'Cats need to find a way to get those special teams points and I certainly did not anticipate 17 penalties through the first two periods and then just one early in the third, but overall it sounds like everything is in place. Great game guys!

Congratulations Coach!

*What was said about about the game and James' goal by BU fans on the USCHO Fan Forum

-That goal by JVR was sick.

-Nothing good about tonight unless you're a Flyers fan.


-JVR's goal was SICK, (stupid HAA for not showing opposing goal highlights) but Dizzy should have gone out and challenged him.

-too bad our game couldn't have been called after the 2nd, huh??[referring to the BC game - the second game in the past two seasons to be called

-Gorgeous goal by JVR. I look forward to catching highlights of his stuff all season!

-JVR should sign with the Flyers now. He'll never score a prettier goal.[doubt that!]

-that was something else....

From UNH Fans:

-Dizzy had no shot. We found Shattenkirk's jock strap near the tobin bridge on our way home

-It was much more impressive in person then it was on that video feed, but still such a sweet goal when watching the replay.

-[Gillespie]He had no chance however on JVR's goal (described as "sick") by Umile.


UNH 4 BU 1!

30 saves Regan, 23 Saves Gillespie

4-1 'Cats!

OMG!!! James vanRiemsdyk just schooled the BU defense and scores! That was electrifying from here!

3-1 'Cats!

Radja scores from Matt Fornataro!

6 minutes to play - I want to hear more intensity late!

8 minutes to play - some great chances - I think we need a little more mentality of just 'PUT THE PUCK IN THE NET'

11 minutes to play

and that line has another great chance after a near break away by Collins

13 minutes to play

2-1 'Cats!

Fritsch scores as Collins finds him and Fortney and Sislo control the play

15 minutes to play


Would you guess UNH penalty-kill at 1:03

Beginning of the Third Period


Andrew Leach has an assist and his Trenton Titans lead 2-1 over the goaltending of Jon Quick (Umass) and the Reading Royals. Jeff Pietrasiak is back-up for Reading tonight.
Shawn Vinz is a +1 and his Charlotte Checkers have a 4-0 lead in the second.
Sean Collins in a -1 and his Wheeling Nailers are down 1-2 to the Elmira Jackals.

The three Hockey East games are knotted after two. The Mass Match-Up is 2-2 and Northeastern and Providence are stalemated the same as we are.

End of Second Period - 1-1

Fornataro scores! 1-1 It's on now!
(assists Pollastrone, Radja)

James and BU defenseman, Colby Cohen took exception to each other and Butler draws a hooking call for a Wildcat Powerplay to finish out the second period!

Another shortened UNH powerplay - nothing, even strength 3 minutes till the second break

BU penalty - 4-on-4 hockey - 7 minutes to play in the second

Only 4 shots in the period so far

BU is just hanging in and trying to capitalize on any chance opportunities - they're just clearing it from their zone every time and now another UNH penalty-kill

Just past the mid-point - Gravalese is killing the game with the reffing.

Another UNH penalty-kill

At this point it seems as our men are controlling play even when down a man.


6 penalties on BU and 5 on UNH at this point = more penalty minutes than minutes played thus far

Even-Strength to a UNH penalty-kill

UNH powerplay

Short (< 5 sec) 5-3 penalty as we begin for our 'Cats

Beginning of the second period shortly


Pay no attention to Andy Shackett - if you want info on 'Cats in the Pros come here first and come here often. Updated every Tuesday or as soon as stats are available - just scroll down the page. Players names are linked to stat pages on various hockey information warehouses and if their team name is linked it will take you to the player's page for their current team.

End of First
Our 'Cats will begin the second on a powerplay if not a 5-on-3 after a dominating first period they find themselves down 0-1 only due to an extreme 5-on-3 penalty killing situation (almost a full 2 minutes of it) in which BU finally and barely managed to score. The play of Kevin Regan sounds fantastic and it sounds as if Wildcat goals will be coming fast and furious in the second as Radja hit a post with 10 seconds to play.

Another UNH Powerplay


UNH Powerplay (shortened)

6:00 to play 4-on-4

More BU 5-on-3 another Wildcat penalty


The only way for BU to get in this game - score on the 5-on-3

Pretty much a 2 minute BU 5-on-3 starting in the UNH zone

Even strength 9 minutes to play UNH 8 shots, BU 6

UNH is on it's third powerplay

12:09 to play in the first - even strength

Thus far UNH is all over BU.

UNH penalty-kill, Radja/Fornataro create short-handed chance and nullify the BU powerplay. 4-on-4 hockey.

Now even-strength

UNH Powerplay early in the game

The season has begun!
Tonight's Line-Up:


On the Blueline:



Kevin Regan

Feelin' The Buzz

Game time is approaching fast folks. Work is almost done - hey what are doing reading The UNH Men's Hockey Blog at work!?

Don't forget that you can find the game on the radio hopefully or if not on Yahoo! Broadcast.

So, with game time coming on like the five o'clock train I'm feeling a buzz - no, not from my favorite brew (Smithwicks btw and I've really liked Seadog's Blueberry Wheat Ale this summer as well but back to the buzz) - no, I'm feeling a buzz in the air as I look forward to tonight's game. Something in the air just feels right and I fully expect to see a great game from our Wildcat Men tonight. This team is something special and I think that we are going to see that every game.

Check back later as I'll be back with ongoing game highlights from across the hockey world featuring our 'Cats.

See you in a few hours!

*Alright Nation, just minutes until the pregame and Gray enters the fray - that's Kevin Gray of the Union Leader putting together a nice article about our 'Cats. Check it out.

It's pregame time.

Go 'Cats!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Haydar Notches Second Assist - Atlanta Wins

Darren Haydar added an assist tonight on the eventual game-winner and the Atlanta Thrashers have put their first mark in the win column after dropping a league worst 6 games.

Darren fed teammate Bryan Little for a fourth unanswered goal in the game, bringing his point total to one goal and two assists in just four games in which he is a +3. The goal would prove to be the game winner as the New York Rangers surged for three goals falling short, 5-3.

He saw his ice time cut back to just 8 minutes after a 13 minute stint last game and an average of just over 9 and a half minutes per game so far, but still managed to contribute.

Keep up the great work, Darren!

In the ECHL, Sean Collins and his Wheeling Nailers finally opened up the East Coast Hockey League season in a victory over the Johnstown Chiefs.

Sean picked up an assist on the eventual game winner himself and was a +1 on the night. The assist came on a pass to Ned Havern (BC) on the powerplay.

That's all for tonight. I'll be back tomorrow with word of any success on the part of Daniel Winnik (he's -1 as of this writing) whose Phoenix Coyotes are deadlocked with the visiting Edmonton Oilers at one, over half-way through the game.

Tomorrow! Game Day! Hockey East season opener!

Go 'Cats!

Great Article's, Bob Snow, composed a terrific article about none-other than our own, James vanRiemsdyk, and our University of New Hampshire Wildcat Hockey Team.

Check it out - title-linked by the title of this post of course.

Thanks to Rogie21 over at the USCHO FF for pointing it out.

The season begins tomorrow!

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fornataro Featured *Addendum*

Great article by Foster's, Al Pike - title-linked for your viewing pleasure.

And great photos from our own, Josh Gibney.

Any time you want to send a pic or two my way Josh I'll be sure to put it up there to show off your work!

*There is a little preseason Hockey East write-up at the College Hockey News to help get you to Friday.

Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Darren Haydar, Atlanta Thrashers -
Tonight On Versus

For those of you that have Versus - be sure to tune in tonight as Darren Haydar and the Atlanta Thrashers face-off against James vanRiemsdyk's future team, the Philadelphia Flyers.

7:00pm on Versus (it says Versus(HD) - I hope that is the same as regular Versus)

Check out the title-linked preview of the game - anyone catch Haydar's name under team leading +/-?

Go 'Cats!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Enshrine This Photograph

Darren Haydar's first NHL goal captured for eternity.




There is a lot to be pleased with having seen our 'Cats in action this past Friday night - refer to the 'Deja Vu' post (under Recent Posts, to the right).

This year's team seems to have an excellent base after just one week of practice and will surely build considerably through the week in preparation for the season opener at Boston University's Agganis Arena. Expect a great game from our men.

So, let's take a look at Future 'Cats.

Starting with the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL)

Steve Moses, due in the fall of '08, continues to maintain a point per game average having tallied 1 goal and 9 assists in 10 games for his Boston Jr. Bruins.

Greg Burke, due in '09, has recently recovered from injury and has immediately gone to work to improve the fortunes of his NH Jr. Monarchs with 2 goals and an assist in 5 games.

The United States Hockey League (USHL)

Matt White ('09) has picked up his first assist and point in his second game with the Omaha Lancers in league action.

Blake Kessel ('08) picked up his first goal, bringing his totals to one goal and one assist in three games, of the season and Matt DiGirolamo ('08) held Mike Borisenok and his Green Bay Gamblers to one goal on 18 shots for a 3-1 Waterloo Blackhawk victory. Matt brought his numbers up considerably, after a rough initial outing, to a 3.01 GAA and a .842 save-percentage.

United States National Team Development Progream

Kevin McCarey ('08), skating for the the USNTDP Under-18 Team, has recorded three assists in nine games so far.

Ryan Bourque ('09), U-17 Team, has recorded four goals and two assists in six games.

And that concludes the recruit look for now. On to the pros.

I'm going to shy away from the European reporting for the most part for now as I am swamped with info from this side of the pond! I am keeping up with stats, updating them on Tuesdays (at least that's my plan), and have linked the player's team's name to their respective websites in many instances and will hopefully complete those links tomorrow.

East Coast Hockey League

Jacob Micflikier, Stockton Thunder, and Brett Hemingway, Fresno Falcons, squared off again and this time saw Hemi and the Falcons come out on top with Brett taking First Star on the night with two goals. Jacob did his part, scoring his second goal of the year and adding an assist.

Kevin Truelson has rejoined the Bakersfield Condors stateside. Welcome back, Kevin.

Andrew Leach was a +1 as his Trenton Devils fell to the Elmira Jackals.


Bryan Muir is a +4 in three games with the Toronto Marlies.

Ty Conklin is off to a rough start with a 3.45 GAA and a .885 save-percentage and his Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, with Ty playing every game so far, are two and three.

Jason Krog is leading the way in Chicago this season in Haydar's absence (you should all have read about that by now!). He has recorded a goal in each of the Wolves first two games.


Daniel Winnik continues to play well for the Phoenix Coyotes with a goal and an assist in five games. His only downside right now is a -2 rating.

Mark Mowers has been held to low ice time and is pointless in five games with the struggling reigning Stanley Cup Champions.

And last and certainly most, it appears as if Darren Haydar has finally cracked an NHL roster! On Saturday night Darren, well, come on didn't you read all about it yet!? Check the Recent Posts - great stuff! Darren has a goal and an assist in just two games and is a +2. Follow the link in at the top of the article to a fantastic picture on the AHL's website.

Welcome Hockey Season!

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Krog and Others Get It Done

Jason Krog wanted to let everyone know that he would be just fine back in Chicago and show the Thrashers what their missing picking up his second goal in as many games.

He put the Haydar-less Wolves up 1-0 just after the halfway point of the game.

Garrett Stafford records his first point of the season. Garrett assisted on a Mark Hartigan(St. Cloud) goal to get the Griffins on the board, and spark a three unanswered goal streak, with just one second left of the first one thousand two hundred.

Shawn Vinz skated with the Charlotte Checkers tonight to a 6-3 win. While Shawn was held scoreless, teammate Joe Barnes scored FOUR STRAIGHT GOALS! Starting the game at 2:57 his would be the only goal of the game until he would break it open at 6:48 of the second when he went on a tear completing his masterpiece in just two minutes and forty-eight seconds! It's a natural coat-trick (Trademark!) - I mean... what else are you going to throw!?

I know that anything else is anti-climatic after that bit but it is always worth noting the Sean Collins put the last nail in the coffin for the Johnstown Chiefs with an empty net shorthanded goal for his Wheeling Nailers who won their game 4-3.

Many games are still in progress... will bring you more tomorrow!

Go 'Cats!

Haydar Records First NHL Goal and Assist *NEW LINK*

Darren Haydar Scores First NHL Goal

Darren Haydar has recorded his first career NHL goal and first career NHL assist in just his second game with the Atlanta Thrashers this season and in his 8th career NHL game.

Darren got his Thrashers on the board scoring just 35 seconds after John Madden(U.of Michigan) of the New Jersey Devils had given the Devils the lead at 1:46 of the first period. Darren's goal is recorded as being scored at 2:21 of the first period on October 13th, 2007. It is reported as a snap shot from 30 feet out.

At 7:46 of the second period Darren would feed the puck to Garnet Exelby to put the boys from Blueland up 3-2 for their first lead of the game and giving Darren his first NHL assist, second NHL point and first two point NHL game. His Thrashers would go up 4-2 before giving up three unanswered goals to fall behind 5-4.

But Ilya Kovalchuk, has just scored to tie the game at five!

...only to be crushed by a powerplay goal with 28 seconds to play. Atlanta is still struggling as is evident by the fact that they scored on nearly a third of their shots - that's right, they scored five goals on just 17 shots being outshot more than 2-1. Still. This night saw them record as many goals as they have in their first four games. Lookin' up.

Haydar finished the night 1-1-2, +2 and is credited with 2 takeaways. Way to show them Darren!

Congratulations! Keep your head up, the W's will come!

Oh yeah, his first NHL goal - scored on Martin Brodeur!

Go 'Cats!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Deja Vu *Updated 10/13*

I'll just put this out there for now so that people can share my nightmares (I'm just kidding) - I'll clean it up later and polish it tomorrow with some professional updates as well.

UNH 3 - UNB 4 (Follow the title-link to the Official Page's stat sheets on the game)

First Story: JVR - phenomenal.

You could just see the talent (it was oozing off him! really). He should have had another but it went off the top of the crossbar after having put on some incredible moves to split the defense. First game in Blue and White = 2 goals

Second Story: Thomas Fortney

Solid. Played excellent on both ends of the ice - just may fulfill the hopes of many here who are expecting him to really ratchet it up this year - with the way he created chances last night I would say so. And I don't think that that shorthand tally will be his last this year.

Third Story: Radja and Fornataro

Looked like the grizzled veterans that they are. Tons of honed skill and ability they will be unstoppable with JVR. The entire line (Fornataro, Radja, JVR) was chippy tonight, all getting at least one penalty we'll see how that goes.

Fourth Story: Goalies

Regan and Foster looked great, very sharp - I would chalk the goals up to defensive lets downs and too many penalties that weren't killed well.

Fifth Story: Youngsters

It looked like any of the lines from tonight could play at least fourth line (EVERYBODY DRESSED - to the point where they barely fit on the bench! - there were a lot of lines, more than five full lines worth on the bench)

*Rookie of The Game - Matt Campanale: Matt was credited with an assist on James vanRiemsdyk's first goal. He was also a great presence on the ice all night and really looked like he belonged out there. Now, some of you may be saying but James must be given credit for being the 'ROTG' - no. James did not look like a rookie at all (well, maybe a little soft play in the defensive zone) and therefore does not qualify! Besides, James gets the Player of The Game nod!

*Player of The Game - James vanRiemsdyk: If you need any more reason than his two goals in his first game in a Wildcat uniform then you just need to get to a game and see for yourself! Go! Right Now! Buy Tickets! I added a link under the 'Upcoming Games' section! Well, I guess you can't buy tickets until Wednesday before the game. If you don't see this guy skate on Towse Rink you will never forgive yourself!

How the game looked to me:

First Period
I thought that the first was great except for that whole finishing it 0-1 thing. The team was passing better than any team that I can remember(a big critique of mine over the past decade). They looked like a fine tuned machine that was going to tear UNB to shreds at any moment - and in some moments they did. The main thing that wasn't there in the first was the defense. It looked like you took the defense from one team and quite frankly put them behind a clearly superior offense. The only other thing that I would say about the first period, and the entire game really, was quality scoring chances - there weren't any. That's a lie - James had one that he tried to sneak under the UNB goalie, who made a great save, just stopping it with his toes underneath him.

Second Period
When our men went down 0-2 they appeared to be shaken and for a while were back on their heels. To illustrate - our first line took the opening faceoff of the second frame and were scored on in just 12 seconds to which they responded by heading straight to the bench. Things quickly went downhill as they recorded just one shot in the first 10 minutes of the period and were only credited with three (four on the game sheet) on the jumbo-tron for the period. The only high point was vanWildcat's (Trademarked!) insane goal from the 'off-wing' (meaning that his stick, in it's natural grip, would point towards the middle of the ice as opposed to the boards) side of the ice that homed in on the left hand, top corner of the net like a guided missile. Ousak, UNB's goalie, never had a chance.

Third Period
The team seemed to get it back together in the third but for the most part didn't seem able to execute. The passing had deteriorated a bit and they had some of the same problems finishing as before. Fortney would tally his goal in the third, on the shorthand no-less but it would be the only real bright spot of the period although the crowd certainly erupted with vanRiemsdyk's last second goal. Through the period as a whole team offense was up, recording 17 shots but hardly any of them were quality chances.

Post Game:
Throughout the game the team did not seem to be jelling well when it counted - the same can't be said of UNB.

A lot of credit goes to UNB they played HOCKEY. They stayed spread out and for the most part just played as a team - good team defense and good goaltending as well. They really exploited our weaknesses throughout the game and capitalized playing a sound fundamentals game throughout.

Professional Front
Most of our 'Cats were not playing last night and those that were flying under the radar. I did find two short-term 'Cats in the ECHL, AJ Bucchino and John Doherty, are with the Augusta Lynx who were dropped by the Gwinnett Gladiators 7-2 in pre-season play.

Jeff Pietrasiak made his way back to the Reading Royals this year and he got the pre-season win in a goalie-split game. Jeff allowed one goal on eight shots. (these result are from Thursday)

If we backtrack to Wednesday:

Micflikier scored and assisted as his Stockton Thunder edged Brett Hemingway, who had an assist, and the Fresno Falcons. Causing a scare a few days ago was news that an M. Fornataro had signed alongside Jacob in Stockton. Those reports were incorrect as it was N. Fornataro, Matt's brother from what I've read, who played his college hockey for Alaska-Fairbanks.

Now back to last night:

Nothing doing - Shawn Vinz is still list as being with the Charlotte Checkers but did not play last night. And Andrew Leach's Trenton Titans picked up the 'W' last night with a 2-1 win. Andrew was even for the night and recorded one shot on goal.

Be back with more tonight - for now I've got to get out of the house while the day is nice and air myself out as I've covered so much hockey by this point that I smell like a hockey rink!

Go 'Cats!

Watcher Is... Err... Watching

Another great article picked out of the webiverse by NCAA Watcher of the USCHO Fan Forum.

Title-Linked for your viewing pleasure, enjoy.

Oh yeah, it's about Future 'Cat, Ryan Bourque!

Game time is just THREE HOURS AWAY!!!

Go 'Cats!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Quick Alumni Update

Darren Haydar called up to Atlanta Thrashers for his first NHL game of the season. He was even on the night - Atlanta lost 0-6 to Buffalo.

Daniel Winnik records his second NHL point and his first assist in 4 games and the Phoenix Coyotes possess a 4-2 lead over the Nashville Predators with a little more than 5 minutes left in the game.

Garrett Stafford and the Grand Rapids Griffins skated to a 4-1 win over the Manitoba Moose. Stafford was a +1 and is a +2 in the team's two games thus far and has collected 4 penalty minutes.

All of the Alumni playing in Europe have been updated to the best of my ability as well - it's all in the 'Cats in the Pros section down the right-hand sidebar.

Go 'Cats!

Are We There Yet!?

Is it Friday yet!?

I've got tickets (thanks Mom! and she bought one for you too bro!) and I can't wait.

What got me so pumped up is the title-linked Concord Monitor article dug up by NCAA Watcher (USCHO FF).

Dave D’Onofrio, gets all the great reporting that I've been looking for including word of Paul Thompson (he's on the team and should be playing) and Mike Beck who is not due to skate until November. It's a great article so check it out! (title-linked, so just click on the title of this post)

Thanks Dave!

Are we there yet?

Go 'Cats!


The season nears inch by inch and I return with another INCH preseason prognostication - their 07-08 All-Americans (title-linked).

Most notable are the nominations of Kevin Regan to the Second Team and freshman, James vanRiemsdyk, to the Rookie Team.

But being a preseason prediction I think that they've missed a lot of nuance in the field and concerning our 'Cats. I wouldn't be surprised to see our top defenseman, Brad Flaishans, crack the All-American line-up nor fellow senior blueliner, Craig Switzer. Up front we have two very impressive seniors that could easily earn All-American honors in Mike Radja and Matt Fornataro.

We're less than 36 hours from the 2007-2008 Exhibition Game!

For those who have not checked it out, Imeem has begun the process of forming agreements with record labels and has now drastically improved its stock of full-length songs - which now allows both Two Step and Black Betty to be heard in their entirety!

Check it out!

*A little extra* Mike Ayers is in Sweden with the Leksand Idrottsforening Ishockey team and it appears our Chicago Blackhawks draft pick may be under the tutelage of the legendary Blawkhawks' goaltender Ed Belfour who stopped by his alma mater, the University of North Dakota, to practice with the Fighting Sioux before heading across the big pond to join the team. I'll have to work on my Swedish but I've linked Ayers' profile to his 'Cat's in the Pros' entry (look way down to the right - click on Leksand).

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Trumped By An INCH

More like by INCH - that's Inside College Hockey in case you were wondering - I guess they didn't want to be known as ICH.

So, Nation (yup, Colbert rerun is on right now), I've title-linked INCH's Power-Rankings simply because they recognized a fact that I had yet to realize - this freshman class represents 8 DIFFERENT STATES AMONG 9 PLAYERS! Now they thought it may only be of interest to them but I can assure you that I find that fact to be very interesting. I wonder how many teams can claim to draw players representing 13 different states and 3 different provinces!? It appears we are the great melting pot of the college hockey world. I wonder what it is. The great facility and staff? The terrific campus? The world-class education? The incredibly intelligent and beautiful ladies? I know that's where I found mine!

Whatever it is I know that Wildcat Nation continues to grow, spreading around the world, so that no matter where you go Wildcat Nation is always nearby to remind you of home!

Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What Gives?

The Official UNH Athletics page has posted its pre-season assessment of our team to a notable omission.

The article is hardly filled with any new, exciting or salient information regarding the upcoming season such a quotes from the coaching staff or players but it does intrigue me that they have failed to mention Paul Thompson in similar fashion to Al Pike also failing to mention him, who even gave Paul's EJHL Player of the Year Honors to Mike Sislo. Now I have no insight or information concerning the situation but I can only surmise that he will red-shirt the year and thus has been left out of the discussion for the upcoming season.

*Edit* I've just read the article more carefully and while they do not discuss Paul, they have mistakenly, I believe, mentioned Matt Campanale as a member of the seven incoming forwards except that they only discuss his record under the defensive analysis. So it is possible there was a mix up on the journalistic front that is yet to be corrected. In any case...

We shall see. Regardless the article is filled with numerous minutia of stats concerning our 'Cats and a brief rundown of the schedule, according to which, we find ourselves just three days from the 2007-2008 exhibition puck-drop (it has been brought to my attention that the Whittemore Center box office is reporting the game as occurring on Saturday - the schedule indicates that the game is indeed this Friday, October 12 at 7:00pm). Hope to see you there!

*A Further Note* I've spoken with the box office and it appears that there will be tickets available as usual beginning 10:00am tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct 9th) for the exhibition game on Friday, Oct. 12th!

Go 'Cats!

Something Every Wildcat Can Appreciate

The DU bloggers have earned unofficial Wildcat status for the upcoming weekend starting Friday night.

See the title-linked post from 'Lets Go DU' to see why!

Go Pioneers! Beat Maine!

Go 'Cats!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Happy Hockey Monday!

I just couldn't wait another week! With so many 'Cats in action across the professional ranks across the globe and so many great stories around them - well, it's time to bring back Happy Hockey Mondays!

Topping the list - Darren Haydar, is named captain of the Chicago Wolves. After putting up consistently high numbers since his debut in the AHL, in which he earned the Dudley 'Red' Garrett - Rookie of the Year honors, Darren was fatefully reunited with Wildcat linemate, Jason Krog (think 98-99 when Krog earned the Hobey Baker with an 85 point season alongside Haydar, 61 points, and Mike Souza with 65! And our boys falling just short in the Wildcats' first ever Runners-Up NCAA Tournament finish). Last year saw Darren put together a season in which he would lead the league in points and capture the Les Cunningham - AHL MVP award.

Darren and Jason (who posted and incredible 80 point season in just 44 games) were reunited in Chicago once again this year and connected for a goal, scored by Krog, in their first game.

Way to go guys!

Coming in just behind Darren and Jason is Daniel Winnik. After struggling mightily in his first professional year Daniel found his footing and earned a position with the Phoenix Coyotes and in his NHL debut found the back of the net in what would prove to be the game winning goal. I caught a few glimpses of his second game versus the Bruins on NESN and he was definitely a presence on the ice. Very nice work man!

But that's all I have time for right now. I'll be reworking this post as I put together more info so check back for updates and be sure to check the updated stats in the recruit section as well.

Go 'Cats!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Rookie Lights the Lamp

Daniel Winnik lit the lamp in his first-ever NHL hockey game.

I've title-linked a great article from

Congratulations Daniel!

Go 'Cats!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

For Your Long Weekend

A nice little story brought to us by 'Bag-Oh-Donuts' from the USCHO message boards as we head into the long holiday weekend, concerning Daniel Winnik. I've title-linked an article that 'B-O-D' posted a link for and will paste two quotes below.

Thanks 'B-O-D'!

Surprised Phoenix as well I’m sure. Two entries from coverage by…

End of May:
"Daniel Winnik started his rookie season with the Rampage only to be sent down to the Roadrunners to find his game. When he was brought back up, he continued with the same results. He finished the season below expectations at 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists) in 66 games for San Antonio."

End of Sept:
“Another pleasant surprise coming out of Phoenix is the story of Daniel Winnik. After having a rough transition season last year with the Rampage, he’s bounced back and is in contention for one of the final roster spots with the Coyotes. It’s going to be quite the story if the former ninth-round 2004 pick makes squad [note: he made it for now], but if he needs to get quality minutes and consistent play, expect him to be on one of the San Antonio’s top lines.”

With this move Winnik will be one of just two 'Cats, him and Mark Mowers, to start the season in the NHL but don't be surprise to see a number of call-ups for others through the year as Bryan Muir, Ty Conklin, Jason Krog, Darren Haydar and Garrett Stafford are all currently knocking on the door of the Big Chill.

Hey, Daniel, I still think you should have stayed for another year but that's the last time I'll bring it up! Promise! ;)

Good Luck, Dan!

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fall Cleaning

Well, I've spent the last few days cleaning and arranging the blog in preparation for the upcoming season. It's been a lot of work and some of the changes are minimal but I think that they combine for a more pleasant viewing experience here at your UNH Men's Hockey Blog.

So, what's new this season?

Well, I've fully updated the list of our 'Cats Playing Pro - as best as I am able to at this point with a lot of movement still happening as the season openers approach. Please let me know if I've missed anyone. Eventually I would like to add a section that covers 'Cats Coaching as well - I'll get there eventually! From my count there are 30 (make that 31 32!) Wildcats playing professional hockey this season representing the past 15 years of Wildcat Nation Hockey.

I've got what I think to be a nicely configured table of the incoming recruits located below the 'Cats Playing Pro section, titled Future 'Cats. I'll be retaining the recruit info for our new, freshmen 'Cats for your reference pleasure. Keep tabs on new and current Future 'Cats as I'll be updating regularly and if you should like to see a Future 'Cat in action you can look through the Current Team list to see if any are nearby - almost always a good game to catch when our 'Cats aren't playing.

Then there is the Hockey Sites Rankings. While it may be tough to crack the top ten your UNH Men's Hockey Blog is ready to break into the 20th spot soon. It should continue to move up throughout the season - so tell all your friends to check this place out and if you have a site, link me! I should also mention that the Paypal Donation button is here - to date I've collected a whopping $0! And that's fine by me - I do this out of love the financial benefits are just icing ;). No, really, I created this blog out of love and admiration of our beloved 'Cats and while I have the time to bring you this blog (well, I make the time!) I don't have the financial resources to improve the coverage such as purchasing online streaming video to report on Future 'Cats and such. Should you decide to donate, a note with the donation concerning any specific interests would be regarded with the utmost consideration and while coverage will reflect such, the source will be held in the strictest confidence unless otherwise desired which is how I treat informational sources as well. And speaking of financial considerations I should also mention that I am interested in pursuing advertising - if you're interested in advertising on my blog do not hesitate to contact me.

Then we come to my personal favorite, the Wildcat Nation Frappr Map which is just over the top! With 3159 members as of last count it continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Thanks to all those 'Cats who've said hello(and non-'Cats too!), posted a shout out and especially those who've shared a picture - you're awesome and you show us what Wildcat Nation is all about!

As we get to the bottom of the page (before we get back to the top) I've added page translators for those who don't share the language since I'm not well-rounded enough to post in other languages either! And you'll probably notice the Firefox tab - I love it and I think you will too. The fire keeps spreading and by my records it now accounts for 15% of the traffic on TUMHB.

So, lets finish up by taking it back to the top. We've got our beloved hockey program's post-season high-water marks and a revised Upcoming Games section that includes links to the new UNHWildcats.TV site and to the schedule and live stats on the Official Site. I'm personally holding out on the Wildcat.TV until the infrastructure of this country is updated and maintained the way it is in Japan where they can watch FULL-SCREEN, CABLE QUALITY BROADCASTS ONLINE!!! We should be ashamed.

Just below that you can always find the latest poll - vote! As well as the fantastic NHPTV links where you can see archived broadcasts (back to 99-00!) and be sure to donate whatever you can at least once a year (they have tons of great programing but be sure to mention UNH Hockey).

This section also includes the UNH Hockey Playlist! (At least what I know of it.) Here is where I have a special request. If anyone owns the tracks I would like to see if they could upload them and have their playlist embedded so that we can all listen to the full songs (I'm not sure if it will work this way but I would like to see). And just below that, a recent addition, a link to the UNH Band Songs!

Last, but not least, we come to the link section. There are a number of new links and more will come as the hockey blogging community becomes more interconnected and more great sites come online. The link section is of course followed by the Hockey East Standings and the current player stats as well as information about our incredible coaching staff.

Well, that's the end of the tour, folks! Let me know if you have any constructive criticisms, ideas or comments as they are always appreciated.

Let's have a great season!

Go 'Cats!

Monday, October 01, 2007

It's October Hockey Fans

September 2007 has come and gone and it has been a record month for The UNH Men's Hockey Blog. Last month saw more visits and more page views than any month here at TUMHB where I'll be celebrating this blog's one year anniversary at the end of this month!

But that's last month and October is here now!

No, not just my birthday month - it's hockey season!

First practice is October 6th, five days away! Exhibition game is a mere 11 days away! And the season opener will be at BU in just 18 days!

Are you feeling it yet!?

The chill in the air. The scent of autumn leaves tingling in your nose. That buzz in the pit of your stomach as we anxiously await the moment that our men bury that first puck in the back of the net!

For those that have not seen it, I title-linked a recent Union Leader article by Al Pike - posted to the USCHO Fan Forum by NCAA Watcher. I take some issue with it as he claims our Coach takes a wait-and-see approach with freshmen (easily disputed by the solid fact of the number of games played by freshmen over the last 17 years) and that Mike Sislo was EJHL Player of the Year last year (incorrect, as it was fellow freshman, New Hampshire native, Paul Thompson) - otherwise a great article. And it does point out a glaring omission on my part for not playing up the potential contributions of Mike Sislo. Mike contributed quite often for the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers alongside fellow Future 'Cat, Mike Borisenok, - the two of whom if they got out of there without being referred to as Mike & Ike, I'd be surprised - putting up 23 goals and 26 assists, for the non-mathematically inclined, that's 49 points in 60 games, good enough for 28th in the league. There is strong suggestion in the article that Mike is in the hunt for playing time alongside fellow freshmen, Phil DeSimone and James vanRiemsdyk.

Well, I'll let you read the rest for yourselves - just click on the title of this post.

I also want to put in a quick plug so that everyone takes note of how well Future 'Cat, Steve Moses('08), is playing. Thus far he has 8 assists in 5 games and had started with 7 in the first 3. Way to go Steve!

Fellow Future 'Cat, Greg Burke('09), has only seen limited action in one game so far as he recovers from what I've heard is a knee injury (I could be wrong on this) - get well soon, Greg!

A quick Alumni note: I'm playing in a league that is run by and played in by Ken McKinnon ('62)! UNH's first Canadian! I've talked to him on the phone but have not met him in person yet. I'll see if I can bring you some Ol' Time UNH Hockey stories to you when I do and do my best to keep him off the scoreboard!

Hope everyone's October is off to a great start!

Go 'Cats!
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