Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Hockey Monday *2008 WJC Update*

The final Happy Hockey Monday of 2007!

What a year!

Wildcats are the 2007 Hockey East Regular Season Champions.

After going 18-7-2 for the University of New Hampshire's fifth Hockey East Regular Season Title our 'Cats made a deep run into the Hockey East Championship and ultimately fell to a very good Boston College team in the final game to earn Hockey East Tournament Runners-up.

They proceeded to cap off the year with their Sixth Straight and Seventeenth All-Time Appearance in the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament. There they fell very disappointingly to a Miami Red Hawks hockey team that this year has led more D-I hockey polls than any other team, though they lost to Boston College in the next game to end their '07 season. That same Boston College team would finish Runners-Up themselves to the 2007 NCAA Div I Men's Ice Hockey Champions, the Michigan State Spartans.

So, the close of the '07 season saw our five graduating seniors - Captain Josh Ciocco, top scorers Jacob Micflikier and Brett Hemingway, defenseman Chris Murray and hard-nosed role-player Shawn Vinz finish the season and then ALL go on to play professional hockey - and to date, they are all sticking with it. Can I get a Go 'Cats!? Add to that the early departure of Trevor Smith for the pro ranks after having had a stellar sophomore year and no less than SIX MORE Wildcats are playing professional hockey this year at some of the highest levels in the world. You can find some not-necessarily up-to-date stats in the 'Cats in the Pros section below - YOU try keeping up with 32 Wildcats who are now playing pro!

So on to this year! And the arrival of a NINE MAN freshman squad who have made immediate impact. You have to start with James vanRiemsdyk. The overall number two draft pick has lived up to all but the most ridiculous of expectations in his first season of college hockey and has really come on lately. He leads the freshman class with 15 points, 6 goals and 9 assists, in just 13 games and is currently tied for the International Ice Hockey Federation 2008 World Junior Championship lead in points where he has 3 goals and 3 assists in 6 games. Next in line is Paul Thompson. The Derry, New Hampshire native has picked up almost where he left off from his domineering, scoring ways in the Eastern Junior Hockey League which saw Paul earn 2007 EJHL Player of the Year Honors after scoring more than a goal per game and nearly two points per game. This year he has 6 goals and 4 assists in 15 games - keep up the great work! Next would have to be Phil DeSimone. The 2007 United States Hockey League Player of the Year and it's easy to see why. In 16 games Phil has posted 7 assists and is a +3 in a line-up that has seen him center three different sets of linemates! Expect even more from Phil as time goes on. Then you have Danny Dries who picked up his first goal of the year Saturday night in the 7-4 win over North Dakota. Add to that his 5 assists and you have a 6 point contribution in 15 games from this talented freshman. Then you have the core of the class Mike Sislo, who somehow only has 1 assist to this point but can often be seen playing with the poise and confidence of an upperclassman. Greg Manz, who got the call-up in the absence of fellow freshman vanRiemsdyk, to play in the huge series in Grand Forks. Then you have Matt Campanale and Mike Beck back on the blueline who have been tremendous in their limited games as freshmen. And finally the little speedster Danny Vranek who has not played in an official game - who I much look forward to seeing when he is ready. An incredible year of addition to our Wildcat Men's Hockey Team!

There's just so much to talk about! The continued penultimate performance of our senior class. The improvement of our new crop of upperclassmen. Feel free to chime in with your favorite or biggest UNH Hockey moments of '07.

But so much of that is in the past. That is 2007. Let's take what we have learned from 2007 and march forward into 2008!

Here's to the new year!

*As an update - James vanRiemsdyk added a goal and three assists today bringing his totals to 4 goals and 6 assists in 4 games and in the process helped the US World Junior Team to a top-seed in its pool leading up to the beginning of the playoff round of the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship which will begin on January 4th for the US Team as they earned a first-round bye with their perfect play in their pool.

A complementary ECHL article on Trevor Smith.

Go 'Cats!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wildcat Successes

Congrats to our 'Cats for a hard fought win last night!

Time to move into the new year!

But before we do let's celebrate some recent Alumni success.

Jason Krog scored, keeping his 9 game scoring streak alive during which he has 20 points and staying on top of the AHL with 46 points in 32 games, assisted by Darren Haydar, Haydar's second assist of the night and 13th point since returning to the AHL from the NHL in just 6 games. WOW. But the Chicago Wolves lose 5-2 - their first loss since the Return of the Captain, Darren Haydar. New Year coming guys!

Josh Prudden scored in back to back games as his Worcester Sharks lost to the Manchester Monarchs in overtime. Keep up the great work in the new year, Josh!

In the ECHL Preston Callander is finding success with the Florida Everblades scoring in back to back games as well. The goal gives him 2 goals and 1 assist in four games after being held pointless in his first two. The Everblades have won both games in which he has scored by a 5-4 margin, the first thanks in part to a shootout goal from Preston's stick as well.

Now we'll interject with word of the success of the United States World Junior Team and that of Wildcat freshman, James vanRiemsdyk. James has netted three goals and three assists in their three games and three victories. He was also named player of the game in the first game for a one goal, one assist effort. His second game was a one goal, two assist affair and in the most recent game, a 4-2 win over Russia, saw James scoring the go-ahead goal with the game tied at one. Way to go, James!

You can see the highlights of their success through the All-Access Pass.


And saving the best for last. Goaltenders Rock! First, Ty Conklin, records his first NHL shutout since January 3rd, 2006, as he and his Pittsburgh Penguins defeated Ty's last team, the Buffalo Sabres. The win gives Ty the best possible look at starting in his second Winter Classic outdoor game. If you haven't already, clear your schedule for 1pm EDT on the first of 2008! This game is going to be great! And on the same night, Kevin Regan, surpasses Greg Moffett (2,602) for the All-Time UNH goaltender record for saves at 2,608 and counting. Congratulations Ty! Congratulations Kevin!

Here's to the New Year! (I'm saving Happy New Year till the 4th!)

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wildcats Win!!!

Wildcats Win! Wildcats Win! Wildcats Win!

A five goal outburst in the third period to capsize the Fighting Sioux 7-4. That's right, the Sioux had a 3-2 lead heading into the third.

Great win, Wildcats!

Way to scrap! Way to fight! Crash the net! No more passing and pretty plays get open, get good shots and go to the net and go hard!

One game, one win! Every step of the way!

All kinds of great news to report - but you'll have to wait till tomorrow!

Goodnight Wildcat Nation!

Go 'Cats!

Friday, December 28, 2007

December 28, 2007 @ North Dakota

Game is on and I'm completing lines as we go!

Kevin Regan in net and Mike Radja at center.



It's almost game-time Nation and I just got the radio feed - I'll post lines as soon as I learn them.

A bit up and down but mostly North Dakota as they are hemming us in quite a bit.

A little over 5 minutes in and Fritsch takes a slashing call.

UNH on the penaltykill.

Radja gets a great bid on the shorthand from Fornataro but stopped by Lamoureux.


10:47 left in the First.

Little past the half-way point of the period and a UNH powerplay!


A few chances each way. It seems the majority of chances on the Wildcat side have been quality but few and far between and Lamoureux seems to be easily up to the task.

Just a couple minutes left in the first.

A turnover behind the net and Zajac scores.

0-1 :39 Zajac[Radke, Martens]

End of First

Being outshot 14-8. Gotta find a groove.

Second period underway!

Boarding by Thompson - UNH back on the penaltykill.

Full Strength.

Back on the penaltykill, Dries tripping, about the half-way point.

5-on-3 for North Dakota, 18 seconds, Flaishans hooking.

Killed off for now but another penalty after a collision between Butler and UND goaltender Lamoureux.

Robbie 'Misdemeanor' Bina is in the box after a hooking infraction on a shorthanded breakout by our 'Cats.

Four-on-Four hockey

Even strength, about 5 minutes to play in the second.

UNH POWERPLAY in the closing minutes of the second.

Even Strength.

1:45 to play in the second

End of Second

Intermission Pro 'Cats Update:

Preston Callander with a goal and an assist tonight now with the Florida Everblades.

Sean Collins with a goal and an assist on the only two goals of a struggling Wheeling Nailers team.


Krog two assists and Haydar three as the Wolves' Joel Kwiatkowski scores THREE POWERPLAY GOALS over just under 10 minutes through the middle of the second period for the natural hat-trick to give Chicago a 4-2 lead. *Oh yeah, he's a defenseman. Say what!?

Micflikier seeing his first AHL action this season and was on the ice for each of Springfield's two goals, on the powerplay, as they fell 3-2 to the Hartford Wolfpack. Jacob was a -1 as his line gave up a shorthanded goal.

Start of Third


Been even-strength and back and forth for a few minutes. Time's flying by boys.


Pollastrone scores on a great feed from LeBlanc.



1-1 5:49 Pollastrone[LeBlanc]

Breakaway for North Dakota and 'Cats fall behind by one again.

1-2 6:16 Trump

1-3 6:57 Fighting Sioux as Martens scores on a wrist shot.

12 minutes to play in the game

Alright - a bunch of stupid penalties coming. I've got a 101 degree fever and have had a bad day I don't need this right now. I'm going to rest and I'll be back at the conclusion.

Take care Wildcat Nation!

3-1 UND. That's all I have to say 'bout that.

See everyone tomorrow night just a wee bit earlier as long as I'm not even more ill than I am tonight!

Goodnight and,

Go 'Cats!

Starting The New Season With A Bang!

Bring on the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux!

This year I expect the back half of the season to be its own distinct season and it is going to have to be.

This team has to set down tonight that it is going to be tough, confident and consistent. Look for them to come out guns blazing led by our captain, Matt Fornataro. The team has plenty of rest and I bet they're rearing to go - it's time to let the Wildcat out of the bag.

Our 'Cats will be without the incredible talents of freshman, James vanRiemsdyk, who is in action today representing the United States at the World Junior Championships. The US skates into action at noon against the Swiss Junior Team. So, don't miss the live audio!

What we can expect to see tonight.

Mike Radja at left-wing (you'd be crazy otherwise, ha ha!), Phil DeSimone at center (making a triumphant return to the west) and Matt Fornataro at right. This line put up a whole bunch of points versus Brown and Lowell - I think there's chemistry here.

Pollastrone-LeBlanc-Butler, need I say more. While this line struggled defensively they are much more solid all around and they are a great agitator line that can really get the puck to the back of the net.

Then it gets hazy for me. This is what I'm thinking.

Dries-Fortney-Thompson. A lot could come of this combination. You have Fortney and Dries who like to dish the puck and Paul Thompson who likes to find the back of the net. Add to that that Dries can dangle a bit and these three like to play a bit physical and could really cause trouble for the opposition.

Collins-Manz-Sislo. We're running out of options here. Kapstad played fourth line forward in the Maine game and Mike Beck got his first start of the season after recovery from knee surgery - he played D in Kapstad's stead. I like the notion of getting three forwards out but haven't seen enough to choose. Dan Vranek played high school at Eden Prairie in Minnesota. I'm sure it would be nice for him to get the start. Whoever it is you have Greg Collins who is one of our very capable juniors and Mike Sislo, a very solid freshman, who hails from Superior, Wisconsin nearby and will surely be stepping it up, as he really needs to if he wants to score, being back near home. Greg Manz has had a couple starts but has not seen the scoresheet, but still a very good option.

On defense we have nearly endless choices and combination. The easy ones, Fritsch and Flaishans, Switzer and Charlebois, the last is really where the choice comes in. If Matt Campanale is healthy we have a choice between him and fellow freshman Mike Beck. On top of that we have sophomore Nick Krates and junior Kevin Kapstad. If one of them is chosen to play forward that limits the options to some extent but we still have plenty of reserves there.

In net, Kevin Regan. He is our starting goaltender and after some early season struggles we are seeing the same resurgence that we saw last year that left his stats at the top of all Division I NCAA hockey. I would add though, that getting Brian Foster into one of the games would be a great test of the youngster but I wouldn't bet on it.

The Match-Up

According to Goon, the North Dakota blogger, one of the best out there.

This is how I see it.

Simple and sweet. These are two very similar teams. They are Artemis Entreri to our Drizzt Do'Urden. It will be a battle of skill and speed. Of grit and determination. From every last skater to the goaltenders between the pipes. This is going to be the marquee match-up of the year until possibly the rematch in the NCAA Tournament. We're going to have to look within ourselves and find our identity in the face of incredible opposition and adversity.

It begins tonight. The journey starts now.

New Hampshire, North Dakota - UNH, UND - Wildcats, Fight Sioux! Let the battle begin.

Go 'Cats!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Prudden Third Star in Loss

Josh Prudden suited up for the Worcester Sharks for the first time since December fifteenth and for just his eighteenth game of the season - and doubles his season point totals to gain the third star of the night in an overtime loss to the Lowell Devils.

Josh has struggled this season and his been in and out of the line-up due to injury and healthy scratch both. Through seventeen games he had just one goal and one assist. Tonight he did both including the game tying goal at 3:32 of the third leaving the game knotted at three apiece until Lowell's Nicklas Bergfors would score just twenty seconds into bonus time.

Nice job Josh!

Ty Conklin got the nod in net tonight as the two young guns, Crosby and Ovechkin, lead their teams in battle. The score stands in favor of the Capitals as Ty has allowed three goals on 19 shots through a little more than two periods.

*Update* - Stopping all eight shots in the third period Conklin allowed his Penguins to stay in the game and a late powerplay goal has sent the game to overtime. Back with the result.

Penguins win in OT! A less than optimal performance but his team got it together in front of him and Ty gets his third mark in the win column in as many starts. He finished with 22 saves on 25 shots.

Mike Ayers got the W with a 31 save effort for the Charlotte Checkers with Shawn Vinz picking up an assist in the 4-1 victory.

Many other 'Cats are in action tonight and I will fill you in on any notable performances that I find time for.

Speaking of which, Daniel Winnik is in action tonight and was on the ice for the the Phoenix powerplay goal to tie the game at one, just three minutes and twenty-three seconds into the second period.

Last but not least, Jason Krog continues his tear notching a goal and two assists to Darren's two assists, upstaging the returning captain yet again even though Haydar maintained his two points per game since returning from Atlanta. Krog now has 11 points in the last three games. Haydar 8 in 4 games. The Wolves proved too much for the Rockford IceHogs in the end who should have known better than to give Chicago a powerplay in OT. The gamewinner came off of Sterling's stick from Krog and Haydar - now where have I heard that before?


Don't forget about the soundtrack I put together for the series or just get psyched with the UNH Men's Hockey Playlist!

Go 'Cats!

Micflikier Called Back to AHL, Falcons

For those in the Springfield, Massachusetts area you'll once again have a chance to see Jacob Micflikier play in the AHL for the Springfield Falcons.

Micflikier was called up today and will likely dress for tomorrow night's game - 7:30pm Friday at the MassMutual Center versus border-town rival Hartford Wolfpack.

It will be his first game in the AHL this season after recording one goal and three assists in nine contests last season for the Falcons after having completed his senior year in the Blue and White.

Jacob is tied for seventh in the ECHL's scoring race with ten goals and twenty-three assists in twenty-seven games with the Edmonton Oilers' ECHL affiliate, Stockton Thunder. He was also named to play in the 2008 Chase Chevrolet ECHL All-Star Game.

Way to go Jacob!

Trevor Smith also got his callback the other day and rejoined the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He played last night but only made the scoresheet taking a hooking penalty at 14:02 of the first that actually led to a Bridgeport shorthanded goal. He's back in the number 23 jersey.

Go 'Cats! Feature on Goaltender Ty Conklin

I doubt many here do not remember Ty Conklin but for those that don't you will see his name littered throughout UNH Men's Hockey record books. has a feature story about Ty possibly being selected to play in what would be his second outdoor NHL game. He was recently called up from the starting job for the Pittsburgh Penguins' AHL affiliate, Wilkes/Barre-Scranton Penguins. In two starts with Pittsburgh since then he has recorded two victories, one in the shootout, both over the Boston Bruins.

Conklin first played in the Winter Classic for the Edmonton Oilers who picked up the undrafted Wildcat after graduation in 2001.

So, check out the article and clear your calender for 1pm EDT New Year's Day 2008 for the first ever Winter Classic Outdoor Game on American soil.

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

vanRiemsdyk shines at World Junior Championship

In the first game for the United States of the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship, James vanRiemsdyk scored first for the Red, White and Blue and he assisted on the fourth goal on the powerplay to help lead the team to a 5-1 victory.

Click here for the most recent look around USA Hockey's All-Access Pass to the 2008 US World Junior team. The motion sensitive should beware the bobsledding video!

James' goal came with just three seconds left in the first period at even-strength. With the goal he added to his cache after having scored the two lone goals in the United States' exhibition game versus the Czech Republic, a 5-2 loss. The highlights of the exhibition game are a great demonstration of vanRiemsdyk's strength in front.


Go 'Cats!

Rossman Makes His Move

College Hockey News was all over this one.

I've title linked the CHN article with statement from Coach. We basically all knew that it was coming and the move appears to be a permanent departure.

We wish you the best Danny!

Go 'Cats!

Monday, December 24, 2007


Happy Hockey Monday Wildcat Nation! Big games coming up THIS weekend beginning Friday night as our 'Cats travel west to play the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota!

So, what's happening in Wildcat Hockey Land?

Krog, Haydar, Wolves Edge Stafford, Griffins

Jason Krog out-duels Haydar by one assist again, three to two, but it was Darren Haydar's cool, controlled play with time running out in overtime that set up Brett Sterling's game-winning OT goal.

With time running out Darren stick-handled into the offensive zone and curled at the top of the circle as the defense backed off of him. He continued his loop and began heading for the net again but as he did he spun throwing a backward, backhand pass tape-to-tape to Sterling who was open and alone high in the slot and found the back of the net with a terrific shot with Krog on the doorstep. It was almost as ridiculous as his spinning backward, backhand pass last game that went tape-to-tape with a Wolves defensman before being fed down to Krog who was low in the corner from which he found the back of the net, last game.

Stafford had the play of the game though if you ask me. With his Grand Rapids Griffins down two to nothing after a Chicago goal at 13:36 of the second Stafford broke up ice a minute and fifteen seconds later through the neutral zone, putting on a tremendous burst of speed beating the Wolves defense and then at full tilt threw a tremendous pass across the crease that was buried by teammate Brett Engelhardt to make it a 2-1 game.

Overall these Wildcats combined for seven assists in the game as Stafford assisted on two of Grand Rapids' three goals.

Of course you can see high-lights... blah, blah, blah, at the title-linked, blah, blah, blah, Chicago Wolves Homepage, blah, blah, blah you should probably check it out at least every other day, blah, blah, blah, you get the point! :)

The only other thing that I have time to note is that Ty Conklin handed the Boston Bruins two losses in two starts and two excellent games. Ty faced 71 shots over the two games, allowing 6 goals. There are probably highlights available at

Way to go Ty!

And I've got to go!

Go 'Cats!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Conklin Gets the Nod *Updated 12/21*

Ty Conklin is in net for the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. They're playing the Bruins and the game is on NESN.

Mike Ayers is in action tonight with the Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL and has gotten off to an auspicious start where BOTH goaltenders have allowed goals on the first shots of the game.

Brett Hemingway was nominated to the American Conference Team for the Chase Chevrolet ECHL All-Star Team. He's playing with the Reading Royals now and has three goals and five assists in nine games there and seven goals and eight assists in his rookie professional season 23 games in.

Conklin looks sharp thus far.

I'll be back with updates later.

Well the Penguins shelled out a four goal run, three in the first period with Sid 'The Kid' getting a hand in each of those in the first. It was just past the halfway mark when they made it 4-0. But late in the second Boston would beat Ty twice in a minute and a half, first on a powerplay and then a shorthanded goal. They would then pour in 17 shots in the third period and late in the game they got two goals almost four minutes apart in the last seven minutes of regulation, the last coming on the powerplay again. Ty withered a 41 shot storm from the Bruins and had enough left in the tank to stone Phil Kessel and Marco Sturm for the shootout victory.

The game also saw a first - Sindey Crosby dropping the gloves. He squared off against Andrew Ference earning his first fighting major.

In the ECHL Mike Ayers got his first W since returning stateside and was helped by teammate and fellow 'Cat, Shawn Vinz who notched a goal, his second, in the 5-3 victory. Shawn also had an assist in the team's last game. Chris Capraro (UMass) scored twice for their Charlotte Checkers, once on a penalty shot to ensure the victory.

Back to NHL action - Daniel Winnik will suit up shortly as his Phoenix Coyotes take on the San Jose Sharks in the Sunshine State.

I should just link the Chicago Wolves homepage in every article when Darren Haydar is there - if you haven't seen the most recent highlights, and Darren's first goal since being reassigned to the Atlanta Thrashers AHL affiliate, you're missing out.


*Eric Boguniecki has returned to the US for hip surgery. Wildcat Nation wishes you a speedy recovery Eric!

Go 'Cats!

Soundtrack For The Next Week



Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


The Captain, Darren Haydar, makes his triumphant return to the Chicago Wolves alongside fellow Wildcat Jason Krog and they each put up two goals with Krog edging Haydar by one assist having gathered three helpers on the night. But Darren received the first star of the night from the league as he collected his 400th career AHL point.

The Wolves put up a total of seven goals (that's 17 in their last two games) and skated away with a seven to four victory over the Peoria Rivermen.

With his five point night Jason captured the first star of the game and a share of the league lead in points. Darren of course is just beginning his bid to capture his second straight AHL scoring title with four points in just his first game back, which was good enough for the second star tonight, and of course ultimately hopes to force the hand of Atlanta leadership to bring him back up to the NHL and hopefully bring along his line-mates Jason Krog and Brett Sterling who tied for the league lead in goals with his 16th and 17th tonight in just 20 games. Uh, yeah, that's right, this line essentially combined for 6 of the seven goals on the night.

I can't wait to see some more! You can catch the highlights on the Chicago Wolves Homepage - but they're not up yet.

What I really want to see is what these three can do together in Atlanta!

Until then,

Go Wolves!


Go 'Cats!

Back in the BCHL

Welcome Damon Kipp! Our newest Future 'Cat!

The 6', 202 lbs. defenseman hails from Salmon Arm, British Colombia and has 29 points in 31 games for the Silverbacks this year.

He had 45 points in 55 games last season.

Due in the fall of 2008 along with Blake Kessel he will provide much needed depth on the blueline and a near guaranteed spot by his sophomore year although he will absolutely compete for a spot next season which will begin just after he turns 20 in early August. He will be 20 after the end of this BCHL season (which ends in February as far as I know) as his birthday falls on April 9th and he is an '88 birthdate contrary to other sources who have misread his birth date in international format and therefore the previous strikethrough.

USHR has numerous details.

Wildcats Craig Switzer and former Captain Josh Ciocco also came to UNH through the Silverbacks.

Damon rounds out a complete line of incoming recruits for the 2008 season - a goaltender, three forwards and now two defensemen. There may still be additional spots open as our 'Cats have been taking a long, hard look for some time at Damon's teammate, Derek Lee, who leads the Silverbacks in scoring with 17 goals and 34 assists for 51 points in just 28 games. Wildcat Nation would seemingly be very happy to see Derek in Blue and White as well!

Welcome to Wildcat Nation, Damon!

Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

vanRiemsdyk & The US Junior Team Exhibition Tonight

The US National Junior Team will skate in an exhibition game versus the Western Michigan University Broncos tonight before leaving for the Czech Republic for the 2008 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship. See the title-linked WMU Athletics Hockey page for more info and some ways to tune in to the game.

The team will spend the Christmas and New Year's holidays overseas - so we wish you Happy Holidays guys and Good Luck!

USA Hockey's homepage has some sweet content for those who are interested in seeing behind the scenes of US Hockey in International competition. Incredible stuff. And they're just getting started.

For Wildcat Nation you can see Wildcat Alum & Captain, Harvard University Assistant Coach, and now US National Junior Team Assistant Coach, Patrick Foley. And of course current Wildcat freshman, James vanRiemsdyk.

I highly recommend that you check it out! Just click on All-Access Pass - it's totally free courtesy of USA Hockey.


Go 'Cats!

Monday, December 17, 2007


Well, even though my game was canceled Sunday night at least we were granted a victory over Maine Sunday afternoon and a Happy Hockey Monday.

Sorry, it's so late but life intervenes and trumps hockey from time to time - nothing serious just some scheduling that couldn't be avoided plus digging out from Sunday's storm still.

So, we are treated to a Happy Hockey Monday courtesy of the the stick of Bobby Butler and the hustle of Thomas Fortney and the pads of Kevin Regan.

Due to the inclement weather I couldn't view the game and spared myself the frustration of shelling out to watch on after having heard two stories of poor feeds. I would have to strongly caution people that they be aware that there are definite issues with the webcast that can interfere with their enjoyment of the game. If I hear any more I will be sure to include the perspective of others and for people who have experience with it, your input in the form of comments would be appreciated here.

So, so, so. The game sounded largely like a bore but those who watched claim to have been treated to some fairly exciting hockey to watch. And it seemed like we would see more scoring after Butler scored at just 6:22 of the first period but it would be the only goal between our offensively challenged teams until the final 13 seconds when Peter LeBlanc would net the empty-netter on a lucky swipe from the neutral zone.

You've got to love the goose egg in the opponent's column, especially when it is Maine. And you can't detract anything from the defensive effort aside from taking more penalties than the opposition and allowing 33 shots on net to our 31. But we've got to hope for more on offense - lets face it, Maine's offense is last in the league. I'm still hearing and reading of too many shots going wide and hitting the opposing defense in front. We've got to get quality scoring chances and put a bunch of them away. I know we're playing in a league that seems to have unparalleled goaltending top to bottom (I'll have to check on that) but we've got to find ways to beat the defense and goaltenders.

Way to go guys! Thanks for the W - a nice stocking stuffer for Wildcat Nation!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Check back often as I'll be refreshing who's playing where and bringing you recruit and alumni stories alike.

Go 'Cats!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

December 16, 2007 vs. Maine

I've decided to stay in and I will listen to the game and will grace you with my take from TUMHB HQ

It's a Black Bear powerplay - less effective than our own at this point. We're about five minutes in.

Mike Beck is in the line-up. And according to the call the Black Bears are all over our 'Cats - lots of jump and we've none.

Fortney just out of the penalty box finds Butler and it sounds plenty raucous in the Whittemore Center tonight!

Hey 'bruins980' - there's some Butler from you (see comments from the 'Game On' post)

1-0 'Cats! Butler(3)[Fortney(7)]

UNH powerplay coming up as Radja is tripped up breaking into the zone.

Brad Flaishans stops a sure goal with the puck sitting on the goal line after squeaking through Regan.

Butler PENALTYSHOT - stopped by Maine's Ben Bishop.

Otherwise a boring period and with Keenan Hopson burying the puck right after the buzzer.

Alright the second period is underway.

The University of North Dakota Mice? With the naming of the University of North Dakota Athletics in the works I put forth the suggestion that they adopt the Mouse as it appears a mouse can be engineered to be fearless. Hopefully our 'Cats can teach them fear of the 'Cat once more when they head out to Grand Forks on the 28th and 29th of this month.


Midway through the game.

UNH penalty-kill with 5:27 left to play in the second.

Just noticed that Nick Krates has been put into play among other changes to replace James vanRiemsdyk.

Sorry, fell asleep - *yawn* - about 15 minutes left to play.

Got some more rest - UNH penaltykill (too many men) 5 minutes to play

Seconds to play...

1-0 'Cats...

2-0 'Cats LeBlanc(4)!

2-0 'Cats. Final. People sound happy with the game but it didn't sound like much.

Go 'Cats!

Game On

The weather shows no signs of letting up and neither do the teams!

The game is on so if you're attending be VERY safe or if you're going out at all for that matter. If you're lucky enough to have ESPNU hopefully the teams will put on a good show!

I may, or may not be back for gametime - it depends on where I end up to watch the game.

Go 'Cats!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mark Your Calendars!

July 16th, 2007 was (is?) James F. van Riemsdyk day!

It is unclear, by the title-linked page, whether this day has been preserved in his honor in perpetuity in his hometown of Middletown, New Jersey.

But there you have it.

You might also wish to mark your calendars a few years out for James' younger brothers, Trevor and Brendan - last reported ages 15 and 11 respectively and by all accounts excellent hockey players.

Amidst the bad weather this weekend James will be traveling to join the US National Junior Team while we hopefully host Maine, weather permitting.

Good Luck, James!


Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I stumbled on this article from just over a year ago by Inside College Hockey from a UNH game program from an interview by Al Pike - you following me?


Josh Ciocco bares all: After stumbling across UNH’s game program for its contests against UMass and Yale on Oct. 26 and Oct. 28, respectively, we felt the need to share a few excerpts. This is an interview done by Al Pike with Wildcat senior captain and resident funnyman Josh Ciocco.

AP: Who is the best practical joker?

JC: “I hate to toot my own horn, but I have a lot of notches on my belt in that category. Mike Radja and Brian Pouliot are kind of having it out right now. [The other day] Radja put shaving cream in Pouliot’s gloves which will lube them up for about a month, and in return Pouliot had [Radja’s] clothes in the shower the next day.

“After a game [pretending to be a reporter] I interviewed [former Wildcat] Preston Callander [on a cell phone] from the front of the bus. I got him going about himself and had him pumping his own tires for awhile. I don’t think he appreciated that too much when he heard the whole front of the bus cracking up and realized it was me, especially since he was a senior and I was a sophomore. He had a couple goals, and he was pretty high on himself so I thought it was a pretty good time to strike.”

AP: Who has the best nickname on the team?

JC: “Jerry Pollastrone is a little pudgy so his dad used to call him Jerry ‘Bag of Doughnuts.’ That one kind of stuck a little bit in the locker room. Bobby Butler, you can have your way with his name in a million different ways being that ‘But’ is the start of his last name, so that has a bunch of renditions Kevin Kapstad, we like to call ‘Kevin Kap-head’ because of the size of his massive head. He’s in denial about it, but if you ever take a look at him, it’s quite large.”

AP: Who has the craziest superstition on the team?

JC: “I think Matt Fornataro’s got a superstition for absolutely everything. You can’t touch his sticks before games, yet Mike Radja feels the need to touch them before every single game.”

Great stuff, guys!

Back to the present.

Get out there on Sunday and show us that you are a team! The University of New Hampshire Wildcats! Come on! We know you've got it!

And lastly, Coach's answers to our questions, from his CSTV "Tuesday @ The Rink" chat, are printed.

Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Song for Sunday

-For IrishWildcat

Click on the song title for full play in a separate window.

Go 'Cats!

Monday, December 10, 2007

We're All Behind You, Captain *Senior CLASS Nominee*

Forget that I ever doubted the leadership of Matt Fornataro!

The title-linked Fosters article captures the salient words of our Captain, words that cannot be uttered by anyone less than the most valiant of leaders.

To Matt, my apologies for ever doubting you. Here's a quick note to Matt:

Matt! Don't be so hard on yourself man, what else can you do? The team's fitness seems beyond reproach and you're leading the team in scoring! But listen to you! Spoken like a true leader. And I think you're on the right path so let's hope the guys get behind you and follow. The only advice that I can offer if the guys won't get behind you is to check out a couple leadership books. They're invaluable in all walks of life and can really improve the leadership of anyone but those who are pure born leaders.

I'm with you Captain!

Keep your head up and your stick on the ice!

*And congratulations on your Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Nomination!!!

Go 'Cats!

OOH, OHH! ME! Pick Me!

Get to the title-linked (click on the title of this post) CSTV page in order to submit questions for tomorrow's "Tuesday @ The Rink" Q&A with UNH Coach Dick Umile!

Go 'Cats!

John Henrion To Join Wildcats

John Henrion will join the University of New Hampshire Wildcats!

NCAA Watcher over at the USCHO Fan Forum is on top of things as always.

Henrion, 5'11" 190 lbs., is an early '91 birthdate about a year and a half younger than his current teammate and Future 'Cat, Steve Moses. Henrion leads their Boston Jr. Bruins (EJHL) in scoring and is tied for 16th overall in league scoring that includes 18 goals, tied for second in goals, and 9 assists for 27 points in 26 games played.

I've title-linked the Boston Jr. Bruins' release of the event that was provided by Watcher and I'll have him added to the Future 'Cats list with stat page link in short order.

Look for him to most likely be a 2009 addition and possibly later.

Welcome John!

Go 'Cats!

Do I Have To?


I don't really want to talk about this weekend's game so I'll talk around it all I can.

I need to get set up to interview the team.

What happened guys!?

And don't tell me that nonsense about 'You've got to give UMass credit.'

They've got the credit! They've got the two points! They scored four goals to your one!

What'd you do wrong? What are you doing to fix it?

Here I'll show you how it's done.

Happy Hockey Monday - for me at least!

Got to watch a great game on Saturday night (Manchester vs. Wolves - man did you miss out if you didn't go - I did see one other UNH jersey in the crowd. WMUR interviewed Jason Krog and it was aired last night). Had I good game myself last night.

Fratello's wins 5-3!

I'd like to have at least two of those goals back. They were deflections in front that I did not adequately cover in the paddle down position. I've got to work on getting the paddle to the ice quicker and closing holes in coverage when I do. I'd even take that third goal back by diving quicker and just using my body to block rather than trying to take it down with my paddle and my glove. I'll be working on it - guaranteed! Thanks to my team who play awesome team defense and played like hockey geniuses with intelligently executed simple plays - except for that one vanRiemsdyk-like (Trademark!) move where one of my guys threaded the puck through the legs of the defenseman and walked around him to go one-on-one with the goalie and buried it up there with the cookie jar. They kept the play low in the offensive zone, didn't bunch up and kept the feet moving all night.

Go Fratello's!

Well, that's how it's done. Now fess up guys!

Go 'Cats!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

How 'Bout Them Wolves

And those Monarchs!

If you get over to the Chicago Wolves main page (title-linked) before their next game you'll see game highlights from last night's game - I would get over there!

It was some hockey contest. An absolute grudge match although I don't think that there is any history between these two teams.

There were eleven goals scored with Manchester seemingly easily winning by a score of seven to four. The Wolves got on the board first but Manchester answered with four unanswered goals before the Wolves' next tally. The Monarchs would increase their lead to 5-2 by the end of the second. The third would see the Wolves stay within two, making it 5-3 but the Monarchs answered with two more before the Wolves would finish the scoring late in the third with a powerplay marker set up by Jason Krog.

The main difference in this battle was the goaltending of Danny Taylor who earned the third star of the game. But you have to credit the entire Monarchs team. They out-shot the Wolves almost two to one through the first two periods by a 18-9 margin in the first and 31-16 after two. And possibly the most misleading statistic of the game is the Wolves shots of which nearly all of them were scoring chances with many of their first period shots being passes right through the crease which Taylor proved up to stopping with incredible split saves.

There were two good fights, incredible hits and great plays. The Wolves are an incredible team offensively and looked like the Harlem Globetrotters of hockey at times with multiple drop passes per play when on the rush including between the legs drop passes and many other passes that involved misdirection with the body and stick.

But the Monarchs looked like a team possessed in handing the Wolves their fourth straight loss - just their SIXTH loss of the year, where they still sit atop their division with a record of 17-6-1. The Monarchs got under the Wolves skin, especially that of top scorer Brett Sterling who has 13 goals in 16 games. And one player that really stood out was BC superstar Brian Boyle - I wouldn't be surprised to see him changing coasts soon (at one point he just released an absolute bomb off a moving shot as he crossed the blue-line leading the rush that was just high with which he nearly killed the Wolves' goalie Ondrej Pavelec who was retired for the night after having seen and entire game's worth of shots and allowing five goals through two periods). Add to that the play of Maine uber-frosh-and-done, Teddy Purcell, who still leads the AHL in scoring and along with Peter Harrold, Jeff Giuliano (two more from BC) and of course Jason Krog for the Wolves and Hockey East was WELL represented in the game.

Overall just a great game and add to the fact that the Monarchs were just handing out cash in $5 denominations all night long to the tune of $10,000 and nice Monarch's rally towels - all-in-all a great night of hockey! Special thanks goes out to the super friendly Manchester Monarchs' staff and the staff of the Verizon Wireless Arena who provide for a great hockey experience. And especially to the 'balloon lady' (sorry, I didn't catch a name) who had some spectacular creations on display. And last but not least my brother for the tickets and letting me 'borrow' the Flaishans jersey that I won him!

Go Monarchs!

Go Wolves!

And we'll get to the 'Cats later.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

December 8, 2007 - @ UMass

Game's in Amherst tonight - I'll be at the Monarchs-Wolves game in Manchester!

Your only source for viewing, the UNH game that is, is attending the game but the UNH Sports Radio Network will be there for those that like to tune-, or surf-!, -in for the call.

I'm going to try to talk the staff at the Monarchs-Wolves game into posting the UNH scores, maybe even all the Hockey East scores. And hopefully there will be some hockey greats in attendance as last Monarchs game I attended was also attended by Don Sweeney and Rick Middleton who sat right above me. It was against the Providence Bruins, first game of the season, part of the three pack that I got gifted to me - thanks bro! - especially for this game tonight which he then bails on me because he decided to go vacation in San Francisco for a week!


Go 'Cats!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mike Beck: Debutant?

Al Pike of has another weekend preview and Wildcat rundown, title-linked of course for your viewing pleasure.

Contained within the article are word from the Wildcats that Brian Foster will don the armor this weekend and that we could possibly see freshman, Mike Beck, for the first time as he has been practicing since his recovery from knee surgery and Matt Campanale is in the infirmiry due to a bout with Mono.

Thanks to 'pvg' over on the USCHO message boards for letting us know the article was out!

Tomorrow's gameday!

Go 'Cats!

Coach Umile Earns More Honors *PLUS*

This title-linked report comes from The New Hampshire - the University of New Hampshire student run newspaper.

Coach is being honored with the Portsmouth area Boy Scouts' Good Scout Award.

An well deserved honor that speaks volumes to his character and the leadership that he demonstrates on and off the ice. Too often in the midst of a season we get caught up in the wins and losses and forget the lessons that a great coach like our own instill in the men that compete in our Blue and White.

Thank you, Coach, and Congratulations!

*Also you can catch a video interview of legendary UNH defenseman, Rod Langway, about the joys of growing up playing pond hockey - I'll never forget playing outdoors growing up myself! Langway had an incredible 69 points over two seasons at UNH with 53 of them coming in his second year in 34 of his 65 career games at UNH.

You can see the other interviews of past NHL greats talking about growing up playing pond hockey at

And I can't remember whether I linked this article on freshman, James vanRiemsdyk, so here it is.

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Haydar Report

Darren Haydar is doing what he does best for the Atlanta Thrashers - putting up points for the team and winning the hearts and minds of the fans.

This from the Blueland Blog:

December 1st
Don Waddell saw enough from Darren Haydar on Thursday night to give him another chance tonight against the Islanders. It seemed that almost every time there was an Atlanta scoring chance in the 4-2 loss to the Leafs that Haydar was on the ice. He played on the power play and finished the night fourth among Thrasher forwards in ice-time, trailing only Kovalchuk, Hossa and White.

He'll stay on the second line tonight with Little and Perrin while Larsen and McCarthy will remain healthy scratches, giving you the same lines as Thursday night:

And from Talking Thrash:

November 30th
Tonight was Darren Haydar’s first game since November 1st. He logged 16:35 time on ice, scored an assist on Tobias Enstrom’s goal, and even got time on the power play. It seemed that most of the scoring chances for the team had Haydar involved. The guy definitely deserves to be in the lineup for a while.

Way to go Darren!

Although, it is looking less and less likely that we'll see him in Manchester when the Wolves come to town this Saturday :( , uh, I mean :) for Darren, :( for us ;)

Darren should be back in action tonight when the New York Islanders visit Atlanta. Daniel Winnik and the Phoenix Coyotes will host the Los Angeles Kings.

Go 'Cats!

Monday, December 03, 2007


Not much to say about this year's Wildcats today - at least I don't have much to say about them. They are an incredible group - as skilled as any top-to-bottom to have donned the Blue and White. They possess a respectable 8-3-1 record as well as goals for and goals against numbers. But something seems to be lacking. Some sort of team identity. Maybe it's leadership. Fornataro offers a great role model on and off the ice, but not everyone is a born leader or becomes a leader no matter how good of a role model they are. And with four assistants maybe they are backing down in deference to one another rather then filling the void of leadership, if there is one - I don't know.

What I do know is that I see a team out there that is capable of winning it all this year. If I could establish a team identity, that is the one I would choose: 2007-2008 University of New Hampshire Wildcats Men's Hockey National Champions. They need to set this identity and work each day to achieve it. Champions are created, not born - it's time to get creative.

On to more positive news - the success of Darren Haydar and Daniel Winnik in the NHL. Daniel has a few points of late, 2 goals and 2 assists in the last five games, 1 goal and the 2 assists which came in the first two of the last five. He has racked up 3 goals and 4 assists, a total of 7 points in 21 games. His latest goal came on Saturday night, an unassisted tally, that saw him best Chris Osgood one-on-one(worth a look if you've got broadband or not!). Darren got his second assist in three game since returning to the team from being a healthy scratch for nearly the entire month of November. He has three assists in his last five games. It brings his total to 1 goal and 7 assists, good for 8 points in 13 games. His +4 rating ranks top on the team for a forward.

Alright, that's all for now - I hope to see lots of Blue and White at the Manchester Monarchs game this Saturday, December 8th, when the Chicago Wolves come to town featuring at least Jason Krog if not also Darren Haydar!

Go 'Cats!
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