Thursday, January 31, 2008

Full Tilt

With just one game on the slate (for those who haven't upgraded to PDAs) for this weekend I am looking for a full tilt boogie Friday night.

With Peter LeBlanc out of the line-up following a Game Disqualification - for a flagrant punch to the face-mask of BU Terrier, Ryan Weston, who callously and cowardly sticked LeBlanc in a very sensitive place most likely because our 'Cats were on their way to a sweep of the Dogs which they executed beautifully - another Wildcat will get to skate as we visit our cousins to the north, the Catamounts of the University of Vermont.

Who will fill the void remains to be seen but what we do know is that there is a bevy of talent ready and willing to play and I hope whoever earns it takes full advantage of the opportunity.

Regardless, I expect a heroic effort on the part of our Wildcats in order to put the Catamounts to bed during this late, CSTV televised game that doesn't get underway until 8:00pm EDT. I would expect to see more of the fire and desire that our men have displayed lately that has become critical to their confidence and subsequent success. Hopefully we'll see more feet moving, especially on the powerplay and more bombs from the point during the man advantage as well - at least more passing through the seams. Control the puck, set up your shots, play smart and use your skills.

Show us what you've got guys!

Go 'Cats!

Monday, January 28, 2008

More On Chic Kelly *UPDATE = A UNH Link!*

Turns out that Chic also runs a foundation to assist others who have spinal injuries - I've title-linked his foundation's website.

The is also another article on the College Hockey News website.

I would again encourage those that read this to contact the NCAA (Catastrophic Athletics Injury Program) in order to aid in Chic's own medical needs where he is in need even as he assists others.

Way to go, Chic!

Come on 'Cats! Do something!

*I just received notice that I missed a connection between the University of New Hampshire and Chic Kelly. Kind of a 'x' number of degrees of separation, in this case just one.

Chic teaches at Malvern Preparatory School, of which UNH freshman defenseman, Matt Campanale, is an alum!

I'll try to find out if Matt ever had him as a teacher.

Thanks to my source!

I'm working on putting up a permanent link to Chic's foundation, Friends and Family of Chic Kelly. If you've never checked there are numerous links to a variety of sites throughout the entire right-hand sidebar.

Go 'Cats!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I Doubt They'll Publish It

I attempted to leave a comment on the Gerbe for Hobey blog but I doubt that they have the integrity to publish it considering the post that prompted my response.

Essentially they attempted to impugn the character of our very own Mike Radja who was arrested but has not yet had his day in court by proscribing him as guilty - I suppose they don't believe in the American value that you are innocent until proven guilty - in order to draw attention from the clear deficiencies of their proposed candidate for Hobey. I guess I shouldn't expect better from those who support someone as unsportsmanlike as Nathan Gerbe for the Hobey Baker Award.

So, I want to make clear for the college hockey community how the supporters of Nathan Gerbe for Hobey are twisting the truth to downplay his long record of unsportsmanlike behavior.

Those who support his bid for Hobey have tried to claim that he was suspended simply because of on-ice behavior, but this is not true. After having been spoken to by the commissioner of Hockey East about his unsportsmanlike behavior and issued a warning that a suspension would follow, Nathan blatantly ignored the warning and continued to business as usual. This is why he was suspended. Because he refused to heed the rules and those charged with enforcing them in our great game. Because a warning wasn't enough to encourage him to change what had become a horrible standard of play for him - a standard that any player at this level knows innately to be wrong. To those that say a player of his stature must play this way they have obviously not watched hockey long enough. There are a number of great players of similar stature that do not and have not resorted to the lowbrow, unsportsmanlike tactics as Nathan Gerbe has. The 'well he's short' defense will not fly. Nathan is an INCREDIBLY gifted, talented, hard working hockey player that is clearly at the top of his game. But the Hobey Baker Award is about more than just high playing ability - it is also about the utmost in sportsmanship that make on-ice behavior a pivotal supporting role in the nomination of those deserving and Nathan Gerbe clearly does not deserve it.

Maybe next year, Nate.

As to those would would attempt to discredit and smear others in order to attempt to elevate their undeserving candidate, don't you have some politics to help the Clintons with?

Congratulations Preston

Congratulations are in order for Preston Callander and and wife Rachel who are expecting in June!

Congrats you two!

I learned of this through another great article from the ECHL's website.

Wildcat Nation will look forward to another Callander in nineteen years or so!

Oh, and congrats on the great hockey too.

By the way, our men won 5-3 last night - I'll recap tomorrow.

Go 'Cats!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday, January 25th, 2008 vs BU

First Period

The start of the game sounds like the boys in Blue and White are playing well but not capitalizing on some very good early chances giving way to struggles in the defensive end as BU has had some very good chances too. 5 minutes in.

Almost 10 minutes in and the game has settled down considerably but a BU penalty will give our 'Cats the first powerplay of the night.

Nothing doing on the powerplay - two off the post sound like the best opportunities but they come up empty on the powerplay once again.

7:15 to play in the first.

Close call, as BU sneaks a loose puck through but the whistle had blown.

It's 3-1 Vermont over UMass just over 10 minutes into the first in that game. Minnesota-Duluth has a 1-0 over UMass Lowell with about 5 minutes to play in the first period of that contest.

4:48 to play here in the first.

Kapstad couldn't control the puck at the offensive blueline and Matt Fornataro takes an obstruction-hooking call on a Pete Macarthur rush.

Dan my man, you've got to lighten the tone and make it a little more crisp.

Regan makes a huge save and in the play we'll go down another man, 5-on-3 for BU.

A little Immigrant Song playing in Towse Rink. A-Ahhhh...AHHH!

Another big defensive play - 1 minute left on the second penalty.


And we'll just go right back on the shorthand after a BU player trips Kevin Regan but Fritsch picks up a penalty for high-sticking.

Period over with just under a minute of BU pp to start the second period - Umile having some words with referee Joe Andrews.

Intermission #1 - the only change in scores is 3-2 Vermont. I thought we were playing a disciplined first but the end of this period will erase that. Otherwise this game is just going to be another fight - it's going to be close and it's going to be dirty. The guys have got to grit it out and go to the net hard.

Second Period

Start of second - come on boys that crowd loves you, give them something!

Not that we ever like to see Maine in the lead but they have a one nothing lead over BC about 10 minutes into the first and if they take some points from BC it could give us some room to breathe at the top of the standings.

'Cats at full strength!


1-0 'Cats! Butler(7)[Switzer(9), Pollastrone(9)]

Switzer throws it on net after driving deep in the zone and Bobby Butler picks up his seventh at 2:12 of the second - poking it in as the puck slid through the crease.

Powerplay 'Cats at 15:32 of the second drawn by James vanRiemsdyk

Switzer scores!!! POWERPLAY GOAL!

2-0 'Cats! Switzer(5)[Radja(9), Fornataro(19)]

13 minutes to play in the second.

Vermont and UMass are back a zero as are Maine and BC making this and the Lowell game versus Minnesota-Duluth games with a lead as Providence and Northeastern are tied at the halfway point.

The fourth line getting a good chance with LeBlanc getting hauled down in front and then he was succeeded by DeSimone and Thompson who also got chances walking to the front of the BU net. 8:42 to play in the second.

5:33 to play in the second and Fritsch will get another high-sticking penalty I believe.

Score BU - tipped by Bryan Ewing - PP goal.

2-1 'Cats!

Providence takes a 1-0 lead over Northeastern on a shorthanded tally.

End of Second

Intermission #2 - Have to keep grinding and going HARD to the net. BU is not going away and we are going to have to be in their face all night. Need to come at them, wear them down and beat them. Adding two more including a powerplay goal, the Providence Friars take control over the Northeastern Huskies, 3-0!

Third Period

It's now 2-2 Maine,BC (nearing the halfway point) and 3-1 Providence over Northeastern (heading into the third).

Final twenty underway!

Some great chances in the first couple minutes - just keep chipping away guys! Keep all over them!

15:16 to play.

Regan holding strong against some BU chances.

You definitely call the game better as it goes on, Dan. Bravo.

A bit of back and forth now. And a broken play results in a tie goal with a no call as Craig Switzer was pushed into Kevin Regan.

2-2 with 9:47 to play.

Now 4-1 Providence and 3-2 BC.

Unfortunately it seems like more listless play by the 'Cats where they are sending a lot of pucks on net but are not creating and driving for real scoring chances.

4-3 Vermont and

KEVIN KAPSTAD - I'M TELLING YOU! The whole team needs to switch ends! His is the kind of play that the whole team needs!

An end to end rush by KEVIN KAPSTAD!!!

3-2 'Cats! Kapstad(3) 6:18

Joe Andrews tries to help the Terriers some more with a quick penalty on our 'Cats - Switzer for tripping at 14:01

Just about 5 minutes to play.

5-3 Vermont.


More help from Andrews for the Terriers - vanRiemsdyk for slashing with 3:35 as the BU diving team steps in to help what is supposed to be a hockey team.

5-1 Providence as they put the whip to the Huskies.

Full-Strength with 1:32 to go!

Fight for it boys!

Empty net.

Matt Fornataro from the Wildcat defensive zone!

4-2 'Cats! Fornataro(8) 19:17


Go 'Cats!

Lowell falls to Minnesota-Duluth with National Rankings at stake. Northeastern is defeated by a surging Providence Friars team who I predicted would be stronger than most this year. Umass drops it's fifth straight that started with two in a row to our 'Cats as Vermont edges them 5-4. Northeastern has only won one in it's last four, going 1-2-1.

In this game BU was 1-for-6 on the powerplay; our 'Cats, just 1-for-2. Yup, that's right, just TWO powerplays to BU's SIX!

Go 'Cats!

Tonight's Roster



The Blueline


In Net

Kevin Regan

Pre Pre-game

Just a couple options for catching tonight's 'Blue-Out the Whitt' as the Boston University Terriers come to town hoping to continue the backward match-up between our teams.

So, you can head to Durham (there may still be tickets but I would call first if you don't already have them), you can buy the webcast (not recommended) or you can tune in for the good ol' radio broadcast/webcast.

Links for all three can be found to the right.

I'll be back to add this blog to the list game observation options shortly before game time.

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Future 'Cat-O-Rama *UPDATES*

I think the the biggest gain in stock among our current Future 'Cats is the great boost in production of '09 recruit, Matt White.

So we'll cover the USHL first.

Through his first 19 games in the USHL playing for the Omaha Lancers, Matt had just one goal and two assists.

Through his last 13 games - 4 goals and 6 assists. Wow.

Keep up the good work Matt!

*Now for the bad news. NCAA Watcher from the USCHO message boards has informed me that Matt has been sidelined with a lacerated spleen. He is expected to return in 6-8 weeks. Can't a guy get a break! Get well Matt!

Still leading his Waterloo Blackhawks in scoring - from the blueline - is Blake Kessel. With 11 goals and 18 assists through 32 games, Blake has been playing like a man possessed ever since his incredible performance in the World Junior A Challenge.

Unfortunately, teammate and Future Wildcat netminder, Matt DiGirolamo, has been having a tough go of it lately. After a rough start Matt played incredibly through the middle part of the first half of the season - raising his numbers significantly. But rough outings lately that have seen him gain wins but allowing a couple goals on a very small number of shots causing his numbers to decline. He currently possesses a 2.60 GAA (not bad at all) and a .896 save percentage (could definitely be better) - then again, Matt's numbers are very similar to another UNH goalie - Ty Conklin (you may have heard of him).

Even more unlucky is Future 'Cat, Mike Borisenok, who has been committed to the University of New Hampshire Men's Hockey Team since 2004. After really coming on strong toward the end of the first half of the season, Mike suffered an injury (I haven't contacted the team to discern the nature of the injury yet), that has kept him out of the line-up since December 14th. Mike has 6 goals and 10 assists through 22 games. Get well, Mike!

*Mike has been recovering from a separated shoulder. He will be out for another week or two. Also courtesy of NCAA Watcher. Thanks Watcher!

Now the EJHL.

Steve Moses and teammate John Henrion of the Jr. Bruins and the New Hampshire Jr. Monarch's Greg Burke have all played extremely well this year.

Moses, arriving this fall, has 30 points, 9 goals and 21 assists in 31 games this season and is second on his team only to fellow Future 'Cat, John Henrion, who has 23 goals and 12 assists in those same 31 games - good for 17th in EJHL scoring.

Burke, who struggled to overcome early season injuries, has posted 9 goals and 11 assists in 27 games.

Both Burke and Henrion are expected to commence their studies in the fall of 2009.

Last but not least are our recruits from the USNTDP, Kevin McCarey and Ryan Bourque, and our, currently, lone Canadian recruit, Damon Kipp.

Kevin McCarey has tallied 4 goals and 6 assists in 30 contests. Currently with the Under-17 Team since the start of the new year he has 3 goals in 4 games. Kevin does not turn 18 until March.

Ryan Bourque has 15 goals and 12 assists in 38 games for those same Under-17s and one goal in one game with the Under-18s.

Damon Kipp is keeping his production steady with 6 goals and 32 assists in 42 games. Five of his six goals have come on the powerplay.

Way to go guys! Keep up the great work and keep your studies going as well as your play!

Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pro Wildcat Moves

Not too much movement of the professional Wildcats out there but there is plenty of scoring and saving going on amongst them.

Most notably of the movers at this time is Chris Murray getting called up to the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL. Chris has one goal and thirteen assist with the ECHL's Phoenix Roadrunners in thirty-six games and according to hockey.db's count, 109 penalty minutes. Hmm! Look for him to start tonight as the Cleveland, Ohio based Monsters welcome the Syracuse Crunch.

Ty Conklin will likely return as starter after losing his first game in regulation (a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning on January 18th) since his call-up, dropping his record to 10-1-1, and sitting one game before being called into the middle of a wild game with the Washington Capitals last night. Ty allowed just one goal in the last half of the game, facing seventeen shots before the game went to a scoreless OT. In the shootout, Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin scored to give Washington the win, 6-5. Pittsburgh was without its marquee young star, Sidney Crosby, who will disappoint many NHL fans while sidelined with a sprained ankle in the upcoming All-Star Game and will likely be out 6-8 weeks.

Ty is now 10-1-2 and owns a 1.82 GAA and a .946 save-percentage - truly fantastic numbers - out of this world, really.

Daniel Winnik kicked off the scoring in another wild game last night as his Phoenix Coyotes downed the Buffalo Sabres, 6-2. The goal, Winnik's fifth of the year, gives him thirteen points in 45 games.

The upcoming ECHL and AHL All-Star Games will each feature Wildcats. In the AHL, due to a variety of circumstances, Jason Krog will be the lone representative to have donned the Blue and White. Due to NHL call-ups, Ty Conklin and Darren Haydar - almost sure locks as All-Stars -, were not chosen and who knows why Grand Rapids defenseman, Garrett Stafford (a past All-Star), was not chosen except for possibly his -4 rating weighing down his 5 goals and 15 assists in 40 games from the blueline, in what is shaping up to be his third straight, fantastic professional year.

In the ECHL game you'll see Brett Hemingway, Kevin Truelson^, Brian Yandle, Jacob Micfikier*, and Trevor Smith*. (*won't play due to injury and call-up, respectively; ^replacement) Somehow, Sean Collins was kept from the line-up and Preston Callander was late to the ECHL party this year.

At this point it's only a matter of time before we have another NHL All-Star - defenseman Rod Langway was a 6-time NHL All-Star!

Go 'Cats!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gerbe's Reinforcements

Nathan Gerbe has gotten reinforcements from another pillar of the college hockey information network - Elliot Olshansky, writing for the title-linked CSTV (College Sports Television) 'slog' (sports + blog=slog... ok) The Rink Rat.

Mr. Olshansky writes off the suspension as a mere learning experience. And while I hope that the situation has been such and am open to the possibility of Mr. Gerbe's rehabilitation I do take issue with this notion.

Mainly, hockey players from any walk (skate?) of hockey should know, far in advance of the college level, what is acceptable on the ice and what is not. To say that Mr. Gerbe is only now capable of learning such a simple distinction is demeaning to the 19 year old junior, Buffalo Sabres draft pick. Although, admittedly, the USA Hockey Skill Progression Handbook does not cover butt-ending - as blatantly inappropriate as the behavior is - but it is clearly delineated in the NCAA Rule book Section 3:61

SECTION 5. A player shall not butt-end an opponent. A butt-end is when a player uses the shaft of the stick above the upper hand to jab an opponent. Butt-ending includes all cases where a butt-end gesture is made regardless of whether contact occurs.
PENALTY—Major and game misconduct or disqualification at the discretion of the referee.

Nice try Mr. Olshansky but his warnings should have been sufficient. He, in fact, failed to heed the admonitions given and it was this feckless demeanor that led to his suspension. The only recourse is to withhold his nomination until at such time his behavior might warrant it next year as I have no doubts about his abilities. (This vocabulary is brought to you by FREERICE.COM)

Maybe Nathan could be sat down to watch Golden and then I would be interested to hear whether he believes himself worthy of the award or not.

This Wildcat has unhorsed the cavalry and has reinforcements of his own in the Western College Hockey Blog.

CHN Covers the 'Cats

College Hockey News has drafted two excellent articles on our Wildcats.

The first, covers the weekend sweep of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and grants the Wildcats Team of the Week honors. The piece also has excellent interview excerpts from newly returned freshman James vanRiemsdyk. UNH is just the second team to be nominated twice after Colorado College gained that distinction last week.

The second, captures an interesting portrait of the UNH Hockey Program and its architect, Head Coach, our Coach, Dick Umile. Coach discusses the team and recent happenings good and bad.

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

INCH Is Flagrantly Offsides

Inside College Hockey has stepped so far offsides that it's clear that they are now nowhere near 'capturing the spirit of the thing'.

Why you ask?

They have essentially endorsed Nathan Gerbe as their top Hobey candidate.

To quote Inside College Hockey quoting a BC fan:
The Buzz: Gerbe jumps to the top of the Hobey Tracker because, in the words of a Boston College fan and frequent e-mailer to INCH, "He's a pimp."

Sure their opinion counts for nothing, but there is principle at stake here. Principle that is central to the Hobey Baker award. Principle that is utterly violated by a belief that Nathan Gerbe is deserving of the honor. Principle that Hobey Baker lived for and lived by that would be disgraced by the mere suggestion that Nathan Gerbe should be associated with his legacy.

If you have never seen Golden: The Hobey Baker Story, by New Hampshire Public Television, I highly recommend that you see it.

Gifted athlete, charismatic leader, the embodiment of excellence, character and sportsmanship. This was Hobey Baker, arguably the greatest amateur athlete who ever lived. Golden - The Hobey Baker Story is a stirring account of Baker's life, told through film clips, photographs, and interviews with Hobey's nephew, distinguished sports figures, and historians.

So where does Boston College forward Nathan Gerbe fall so horribly short of embodying these qualities? It is in the recent suspension that Mr. Gerbe received as a result of his lack of character and sportsmanship. A continuing problem that forced the hand of Hockey East Commissioner, Joe Bertagna, in handing down the aforementioned suspension.

And why am I getting involved?

To me, this is an issue regarding the entire college hockey community. We cannot have such lowbrow players being proffered for an accolade that is known as college hockey's most cherished award. Additionally, those familiar with the Hobey Baker story know that he spent a great amount of time growing up right here in New Hampshire attending St. Paul's school in Concord. And having seen Jason Krog earn the award so deservedly, I am loath to see this tarnish applied towards those who've fully embraced the tenants that Hobey himself epitomized.

I hope that you'll reconsider how you evaluate players for your Hobey Tracker, Inside College Hockey. For the sake of not just your own but the reputation of the entire college hockey community and the memory of Hobey Baker. And lest you think that they have ameliorated their transgression here is this week's Hobey Tracker, released yesterday.

Should you wish to vent your displeasure there is also this pathetic site. Feel free to vote against him in the page's poll!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Level 50!!!

I've reached Level 50, the highest level, on!!!

My overall donation stands above 68,000 grains of rice! With just 4,000 more my donation will have broached approximately 10 cups of rice or 5 pounds!

Imagine if everyone were to donate that amount in a week.

I'll keep playing and I hope you will too!

Go 'Cats!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Conklin Is Con-crete

If concrete moves like a Wildcat and can seal a six-foot by four-foot vertical opening practically airtight through sixty withering minutes enduring a barrage of six-ounce vulcanized rubber a total of forty-four times!

Ty made forty-three saves for the 4-1 Pittsburgh Penguin victory over the New York Rangers to remain undefeated in regulation and a stunning 10-0-1 since being called up in mid-December.

His 43 save effort, a career high in the NHL, will only add to the enormity of his 32.7 saves per game average and I'll update this post with his stunning stats when they are released in the morning.

*As it stands, Conklin maintains a 33.6 saves per game average and a 1.72 goals against. His .949 save percentage over 695 minutes is nearly unimaginable.

Some of the highlights of the game included Ty shutting down former Hockey East foes, Chris Drury (BU) and Greg Moore (Maine) - though Ty did not see time against either during his time as a Wildcat.

The Rangers couldn't slip one by until another former Penguin, future Hall of Famer, Jaromir Jagr, picked up his own rebound on a powerplay on the fortieth shot of the game.

Way to go Ty!

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Get Out Your Brooms and Dustpans!

They almost made it look easy.

Game one, Friday night, UNH looked like they were the lesser team. But they were a lesser team that showed up to play, stuck with it, and did what it took to win the game.

Game two, different story. I don't know if it was the size of the rink or the confidence from the previous night's triumph and the corresponding uneasiness in the UMass squad. But tonight our Wildcats were clearly the better team. And they worked to prove it. Again I really like the emotion and the edge - and they'd better keep it. This team has got to realize that they deserve nothing and need to earn everything.

And, as they did tonight, have a little fun doing it.

UNH 5, UMass 3

Great game, 'Cats! But you've got so far to go.


Go 'Cats!

UNH Pulls One Out

Of their... ear!

Though our 'Cats played well, UMass was the better team for the vast majority of the game. They got to the puck, set up shop in the offensive zone and didn't give our 'Cats ANY good shots on net - Mike Radja's shot and subsequent goal being arguably the only quality shot on net for the Blue and White and that's a stretch.

The deciding factor and saving grace of the game was Kevin Regan. In killing off the ridiculous series of penalties handed-out by a testy Tim Benedetto the skaters did a decent job but in that situation you rely on your goaltender and luck - and Kevin Regan provided plenty. The two goals that he allowed can easily be attributed to the defensemen failing to clear away rebounds and being screened by them but as a goalie I know that you want to control those rebounds, absorb them, and make a good recovery tracking the puck. But if I were Kevin I wouldn't beat myself up over those two after taking the rest of the game into account. That first one being a failure to transition and control the puck, as I've pointed out recently, and then being screened.

Also, there's no taking away from the Wildcat goal scorers though. That is how you score goals. Puck on the net. And while they were all low percentage shots our skilled 'Cats made the most of them.

Biggest positive in the game for the 'Cats was that they showed up, played hard and never really quit even though the second period was pretty listless.

You can see video highlights on the title-linked Hockey East website.

And, hopefully we'll see an even better effort tonight!

Go 'Cats!

Thursday, January 10, 2008



Ty Conklin improves to 9-0!

Allowing just one goal on thirty-six shots in yet another incredible performance in net for the Penguins. Number one star of the game.

Simply amazing!

A 1.79 GAA and a .945 save percentage!


Go Ty!

*And your UNH Men's Hockey Blogger Guy has achieved Level 48 on! Compiling a donation of 30,420 grains of rice! Approaching five cups!

**Watching the pre-game for tonight's game (Friday, January 11th) the draft coverage of vanRiemsdyk - he's wearing a UNH tie! Told ya'll that this is a stand-up guy!

Go 'Cats!

The College Years

A GREAT article at about guys playing in the NHL and their perspective on their college hockey experiences.

An absolute must read!

Go 'Cats!

News *NESN to Discuss James vanRiemsdyk Tonight*

Tomorrow's game is on NESN - the first of the year for NESN's College Hockey Friday Nights. Saturday's game is on the insuperable NHPTV.

Mike Radja will return to the line-up along with James vanRiemsdyk who is fresh from the 2008 World Junior Championships where he was unable to carry Team USA to a medal even after leading the tournament in scoring. Welcome back guys!

Last Night in the AHL
Darren Haydar and Jason Krog got it done again last night, propelling their Chicago Wolves into first place in their division. Darren was a 1-1-2 for the night and Jason had a goal to continue to pile upon his league leading point total.

Trevor Smith also scored netting his second goal since returning to the AHL and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

As for tonight look for Ty Conklin to get his 8th straight start and hope to maintain his unbeaten streak against the Tampa Bay Lightning - a team that the Pittsburgh Penguins have not defeated in five years!

The Phoenix Coyotes and Daniel Winnik will continue their northern tour with a stop in Edmonton to take on the Oilers where I'm sure Daniel will hope to continue his recent scoring.

And the Montreal Canadiens will come south of the border to battle in Boston in a game that it would be great to see the Bruins win as the Canadiens have won eight straight. I can't wait to see Kevin Regan start against the Canadiens someday in with that golden 'B' on his chest! The game will be on NESN.

Bryan Muir will most likely see action tonight with his Toronto Marlies against the Milwaukee Admirals. Bryan will hope to improve on his +14 rating and 10 points in 20 games.

Shawn Vinz and possibly Mike Ayers (he's been in and out of the line-up) will suit up for their Charlotte Checkers for a match-up with the Pensacola Ice Pilots which was Mike's last team.

Preston Callander and the Florida Everblades will visit the nearby Augusta Lynx (and I can't believe I forgot that Brian Yandle is now with the Lynx!).

*After the Bruins game, NESN will be featuring a story on James vanRiemsdyk who they are calling a superstar freshman from the University of New Hampshire! Is it Friday yet!?

Other News
I'm up to level 46!!! And no, I'm not talking about the World of Warcraft! I'm talking about More importantly than the vocabulary proficiency that I've attained is the fact that I've garnered 19,020 grains of rice on to help fight hunger. That total represents nearly three cups of rice as a cup of rice is comprised of roughly 7,200 grains. The more who participate, the more advertisers Free Rice will be able to secure and the more they will be able to donate for each correct answer! I've got a linked banner below the Future 'Cats section below in the right-hand column. It's right next to the HockeySites ranking banner and link that proclaims that The UNH Men's Hockey Blog is the 20th most visited hockey site on the internet of sites that are ranked by HockeySites!

*UPDATE* Level 47!!!

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

More Blogger Dogooding

I don't know how many of you have heard of but I'm here to promote their cause.

Wildcat Nation knows that I could use a prodigious amount of amelioration to augment my extant lexicon. And if you too would like to cultivate a more capacious vocabulary you can facilitate that objective and that of encouraging food donation to the impoverished at the same time!

Check it out and have fun killing time, improving your vocabulary and helping feed the poor.

My 'Best Level' is 43!

*I'm up to 45!

Hie Felis silvestris!

Conklin, Winnik Shine

Winnik scores the first of what would become a three goal second period for the Phoenix Coyotes en route to a 3-1 defeat of the Calgary Flames. The goal goes down as his fourth of the year and added to his six assists gives him ten points in thirty-eight games and figures for one goal, one assist in his last three games.

Then you have Ty Conklin. Still unbeaten at 8-0. His statistics now stand at a truly ridiculous 1.88 GAA and a .941 save percentage! WHAT!?

Last night he and the Penguins faced the Florida Panthers who couldn't slip one by Ty, without kicking it and having it waived off, for one hundred and fifteen minutes and fifty-one seconds. And when they did, they managed just one on twenty-eight shots. All three Penguin goals came over a three minute and six second span, as they two had a three goal second period, beginning at 10:05 of the frame after a game-saving stop by Ty on a breakaway that was turned around for that first goal.

Ty also managed the lone Pittsburgh penalty! A delay of game minor. :)

Way to play guys! It's really special to see Wildcats work so hard and see it pay off so well - and so many of you are out there doing just that! More than I can keep up with without this being a full-time job!

Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hockeytown, U.S.A.

I ran into one of the great UNH players to come out of Hockeytown, USA tonight - Berlin, NH for those not in the know.

Just wanted to say, 'Bonjour, Monseigneur!'

Someday I'd like to track down and interview these UNH alums from the town that I grew up in. Names that include Albie Brodeur, Roger LeClerc, Rod Blackburn, Frank Roy, John Normand and Marc Dorval.

Eventually I would love to see a strong hockey community re-established in the North Country, the Great North Woods and see my hometown reclaim its Hockeytown, USA status.

It would be great to see an annual UNH game played in the City That Trees Built.

Go Mounties!

Go 'Cats!

Another UNH Bad Boy - In a Good Way! (+)

Newly minted NHL tough guy for the Phoenix Coyotes, Daniel Winnik, makes Wildcat Nation proud by doing his part to stop on ice hockey crime. Add to the fact that he averages about a point every fourth game and you have a solid NHL third/fourth line player making his rookie year count!

Thanks to unh_hockey over at the message boards for reminding me of this video and thanks to aparch for this on the Chicago Wolves' Captain.

And following up on the Darren Haydar hat-trick a few nights ago is this article detailing the event from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlighted by this quote:
"A couple of fans made me mad and called me a traitor in warm-ups, so I took it a little personally and had to do my job," Haydar said. "I'm just kidding. That's not it. I come to do my job every night."

Hard to stay down with positive news like this buoying up Wildcat Nation. Look to see Ty Conklin put his perfect 7-0 record on the line tonight against the Florida Panthers. The last time out Conklin and his Pittsburgh Penguins made the Panthers look like kittens with a 3-0 shutout - 35 saves for Ty. His stats stand at a 2.00 Goals Against Average and a .939 save percentage - truly phenomenal numbers. Daniel Winnik and the Phoenix Coyotes will skate against the Calgary Flames north of the border. And we can see Kevin Regan's future team, the local favorites in Wildcat Nation outside of our Wildcats, the Boston Bruins as they look to put together a four game win streak for the first time this year when the Carolina Hurricanes come to town sporting the newly garnered Bruins' 1998 Calder Trophy winner, Sergei Samsonov.

(+)A late addition to this post, Preston Callander, is lauded by the ECHL with Player of the Week Honors for his great play recently.

Go 'Cats!

Answering Nature's Call

I believe that I have enough information to relieve any of the more speculatory rumors concerning the arrest of Mike Radja.

Numerous rumors have surfaced but the most credible has arisen from multiple sources and seems borne out by the facts.

As University of Denver blogger, dggoddard, had most strongly pointed to this story involves a stuck elevator in the building and at the time in question. By most accounts there were eight people who became trapped in that elevator for more than an hour and a half. During that time various reports assert that it became impossible for a few of the occupants to refrain from answering nature's call and their subsequent actions resulted in the arrest of T.J. Oshie and Mike Radja.

A call to the Grand Forks, North Dakota fire department (some mighty nice people by the sound) has provided that the GFFD did in fact respond to a stuck elevator at 100 North Third St. at the very time in question.

The speculative actions that took place are also said to have been caught on video tape and it would seem that Mr. Oshie and Mr. Radja were upright in taking responsibility for their actions. This will most likely become clear after the trial on Wednesday, January 16th.

All told, I believe this to be the most accurate synopsis of the events that took place, given the circumstantial evidence and cohesive recounting, but of course everyone will make up their own mind. I'll save any further comment of the situation for any details or facts released following their trial.

Terrible Tuesday


Alright, something positive, something positive...

Congratulations to Danny Vranek! Great game man!

And really nice goals by Danny Dries and Craig Switzer! And that Butler goal on the incredible feed from Pollastrone I'm sure will be featured in future highlight reels.

I also think that Kevin Kapstad had a great game up front. Working hard and seems like you really have fun playing up and you've been very effective! I think that the team should switch positions for a game to give the whole team the perspective that Kevin is getting.

I'm not going to go into who didn't play well - they know, the coaches know and the stat sheet accurately tells the story. No need for me to go on about it.

It will be interesting to see the entire team come back together for this Friday's game in Amherst.

Check back all week for Wildcat Nation news, and don't forget to tip your waiter!

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Can't Keep Haydar Down

Well, you wouldn't want to be the Milwaukee Admirals taking on the Chicago Wolves the night after Darren Haydar was kept scoreless.

Haydar busted out for the hat-trick tonight against his old club, who he usually struggles against. But it seems he felt the need to make-up for the rare pointless night approximately twenty-four hours before.

Krog helped with three assists on the night and Chicago loped their way to a 6-3 victory.

Go Wolves!

And Preston Callander had another three point night with a goal and two assists to as his Florida Everblades skated to a 7-2 win over the South Carolina Stingrays.

Way to go Preston!

Go 'Cats!

Same Old Story

It's the same old story just changing the numbers.

Ty Conklin shutout the Florida Panthers with 35 saves this afternoon.

His second shutout in seven NHL games this season for his seventh win and sixth straight.

Among his efforts thus far he has a 37 save performance (four goals), a 36 (one goal), a 35 (shutout) and a collection of 33 saves (two goals) to round out games that have seen him face more than 30 shots. Over the last six games he has allowed just 8 goals.

With the perfect game his numbers will improve further from the 2.30 GAA and .928 save percentage that he started the afternoon with.

Way to go man!

Go 'Cats!

'Cats in the Pros


Preston Callander stands out as he picks up the natural hat-trick plus and assist on top of it earning the first star of the night in his Florida Everblades' defeat of the South Carolina Stingrays, 6-3. The 4 point night sets his scoring line a 5 goals, 2 assists in 7 games.

Andrew Leach picked up the lone goal for his Trenton Devils in a 4-1 loss to the Mississippi Sea Wolves. And Brett Hemingway scored in the Reading Royals' 4-3 shootout win over the Cincinnati Cyclones.

Sean Collins, Kevin Truelson and Brian Yandle all picked up assists. Josh Ciocco stands alone of the 'Cats in the ECHL last night as he was held pointless but he was a +1 as his Fresno Falcons edged the Las Vegas Wranglers.


Want to beat the Chicago Wolves? Then shut down Darren Haydar. If you can. And tonight the Rockford IceHogs were able to do just that. For the first time in seven games, since his return to the AHL, Darren was held pointless. But you still might have trouble with the Wolves as Jason Krog scored twice in the narrow, 5-4 defeat. Haydar's point total stands at 14 points in just 8 games, Krog now has 51 points in 34 games as he continues to lead the league.

Garrett Stafford sat out with a charliehorse and his Grand Rapids Griffins fell 4-1 to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Bryan Muir played again tonight for the Toronto Marlies and continues to add to his plus/minus but did not tally any points.

Trevor Smith scored in the shootout to help the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to a 4-3 shootout win over the Norfolk Admirals.

And that covers those two leagues but is all the time I have for today!

Remember tomorrow's home game versus St. Lawrence is on NHPTV (and and the puck drops at 2pm!

Go 'Cats!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Latest Arrest Speculation

Never one to fall behind on the most recent college hockey scandal, the Denver Blogger has passed along this nugget.

Me, I'm just frustrated about the lack of interest in the Chic Kelly story and the completely overblown interest in the arrest and suspension of Mike Radja. Yes Mike is a Wildcat, but there is nothing that we can do about his situation. Chic Kelly on the other hand could use our help in breaking through the obstruction and silence on the part of the NCAA in responding to Mr. Kelly's request. So, I implore all those who have not bothered to lift a few fingers to help a college hockey player in need of help to please do so.

No score in either of the Hockey East games tonight in the first periods.

And from the World Junior Championship, James van Riemsdyk scored the lone goal for the US as they fell to Canada 4-1. They'll be vying for bronze tomorrow versus Russia.

*Merrimack game update: More than halfway through the game, no score and The Nannie Diaries is more exciting than listening to this game. I want Dick Osborne back! (sorry, Dan & Pete, nothing personal)

Well, the call is better when our 'Cats are winning and with Phil DeSimone scoring his first collegiate goal on the powerplay just over halfway through the third it sounded a bit more exciting with the game concluding with Kevin Regan turning aside every Warrior shot, 34 in all to 26 for our 'Cats, for the shutout.

Fornataro and Switzer picked up assists on the goal.

Wildcats 1, Warriors 0.

Go 'Cats!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Conklin, Winnik Contribute

Daniel Winnik has a first period assist tonight helping his Phoenix Coyotes to a 2-0 lead near the close of the first period. A lead that they maintain with the second period now concluded. It's Winnik's 6th assist and 9th point of the year.

Ty Conklin has backstopped his Pittsburgh Penguins to a perfect sixth win in six games and his fifth straight in five straight starts. Tonight he turned away 33 of 35 shots from the Toronto Maple Leafs who managed one even-strength goal halfway through the first and a powerplay tally just over halfway through the third after they had fallen behind 5-1 on three Pittsburgh goals in 48 seconds earlier in the third. The goalie on the other end was BC's, Scott Clemmensen, who has been in the net opposite Ty plenty of times during their Hockey East days. Unfortunately he had a much worse night allowing 6 goals on 24 shots. For Ty it marks yet further decreases in his goals against average and an increase in save percentage as he earned the Second Star of the game.

Way to go fellas!

Unfortunately there is more bad news to report as Jacob Micflikier, fresh off of playing in his first AHL game this season the night before, broke his leg in the morning skate after catching a rut in the ice.

Get well soon, Jacob! Wildcat Nation wishes you a speedy recovery.

Go 'Cats!

Rossman Returns

So, I was going to wait to surprise everyone tomorrow morning with the news but everyone else has already ruined the surprise.

Danny Rossman returns!

There was Seacoast Online. The College Hockey News. And supposedly the Portsmouth Herald as well though I couldn't find the article.

Glad to see you back, Dan! Wildcat Nation is glad.

Let's Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Uh Oh! *Really Uh Oh!*

Goon's World is reporting that Mike Radja was arrested very early Sunday morning in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The alleged charge is disorderly conduct.

He was arrested alongside North Dakota Fighting Sioux hockey standout T.J. Oshie.(Grand Forks Herald article)

Come on guys!

Oshie has been suspended for one game - I would expect Mike Radja to miss Friday's match-up with the Warriors making this year's rejuvenated Warriors seem even less an underdog.

The 'Cats will prowl on!

*Radja was suspended for two games in order not to be outdone by UND where this is Oshie's second arrest at UND where they have experienced a string of 9 arrests since 2006 and he gets one game. This update brought to you by the College Hockey News.

So, meaning Radja will be absent in the Wildcat's return home versus St. Lawrence on Sunday and we cannot expect James vanRiemsdyk back by then either.

And still the 'Cats prowl on! These will not be easy games Nation - hold on to your wiskers.

Go 'Cats!

For A Good Cause

Mike McMahon, who leads a double life as a staff writer for the Eagle-Tribune and the Merrimack Warriors Men's hockey blogger, has sent out the rally call to the college hockey community.

He has written an article discussing the plight of Chic Kelly, a Warrior alum, who has been unable to get the NCAA to step up to the plate to financially assist him and any other student-athletes who have suffered debilitating injuries in the past.

You can read all the details at the above linked article from McMahon and the Eagle-Tribune - and please do. After you've read it please spread word of the issue and perhaps take a moment of your time to contact the NCAA. There are multiple options, but I would begin with an email to:

Catastrophic Athletics Injury Insurance Program

Juanita Sheely and/or
Joyce Collins

There is also Media Relations Director

Erik Christianson

If you're unsure of what to write, here is my effort:

My name is (TUMHBG) and I am a fan of the University of New Hampshire hockey team and well, just about any of my alma mater's sports teams, but today my concern is hockey.

It has come to my attention that there is a former college hockey player, Mr. Charles Kelly Jr. of Merrimack College, whom it seems is not being adequately assisted by your organization. Mr. Kelly was severely injured almost 20 years ago and has been debilitated since and has made multiple attempts to contact you but has not received a response.

It is my hope in contacting you that Mr. Kelly's situation addressed with all due seriousness and haste.

Thank you for your time.


To all other bloggers, please feel free to copy this post to your blog. Hopefully we, the college hockey community, can encourage the NCAA to do what is right.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Great Day For Hockey

It was a great day for hockey and Ty Conklin kept his perfect record intact in a great game that was won in the shootout by the glove of Conklin and the stick of Sid 'The Kid' Crosby.

Ty extended his unbeaten streak to five games since rejoining the Pens' NHL club last month where he is 5-0 in five starts. He had 36 saves on the game and his stats now stand at a 2.36 GAA and a .925 save percentage.

You had to watch it to appreciate how special this game was - I know I'll never forget it. And to see a University of New Hampshire goaltender get the victory is something that I'm sure will always be remembered by the Wildcat Nation faithful.

Hockey Rocks!

Happy New Year!

Ty, if you're reading... if there is any way you could hook me up with that powder-blue jersey I would never take it off! Oh, and whenever you're done with those Itechs I wouldn't mind inheriting those either! Man I wish I could afford some new pads! Thanks in advance! :)

Go 'Cats!

Conklin DOES Get The Nod!

Ty Conklin WILL start in the NHL's Winter Classic held inside the confines of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, New York as his Pittsburgh Penguins take on the host Buffalo Sabres at 1pm EDT TODAY!

It is Ty's second start in an outdoor game and he brings a 4-0 record, a 2.71 GAA and a .912 save percentage into the match-up since his call-up back to the NHL a few short weeks ago.

His last outing saw him build a 26 save shutout of those very same Buffalo Sabres - who happen to be his last NHL employer before coming to the Penguins.

Ty's first adventure into the outdoors resulted in a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Montreal Canadians when Ty played for the Edmonton Oilers in the Heritage Classic. Now he gets a shot at redemption and a chance to extend his perfect record in the first outdoor NHL game on American soil, our Winter Classic.

Tune in to your local NBC station for all of the excitement. Penguins, Sabres, outside in front of 70,000 and a national television audience! It's the NHL's Winter Classic on NBC!

And of course,

Go 'Cats!
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