Friday, February 29, 2008

It's A Win

2-1 'Cats on a late powerplay goal from Danny Dries.

We finish the season series with Merrimack tomorrow night in North Andover.

Go 'Cats!

Monday, February 25, 2008

UNH on

See the title-linked article on ESPN about our 'Cats recent success.

I'll try to get my rundown out tomorrow!

Happy Hockey Monday Wildcat Nation!

And thanks to Gibber for pointing out the aforementioned article.

Go 'Cats!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Told You So *UPDATE*

*ANOTHER LINK - This one from Detroit's page*

I'd mentioned back near the beginning of the season that Garrett Stafford was close to a spot on the Detroit Red Wings and it appears that he will make his first NHL start tonight!

Garrett was called up amidst a torrent of injuries to the incredibly deep Wings' defensive corps. He'll be helping out in front of none-other-than Maine's, Jimmy Howard, who has gotten into the Wings' goaltender rotation and has been featured, along with league leading goaltender Ty Conklin of course, in a recent 'Saves of the Week' from

Our Wildcat has 2 goals and 3 assists, a +2, in seven games since returning February 8th, from a two and a half week stretch missed due to a broken finger.

Be sure to check out the title-linked article from Our Sports

Congrats Stafford!

Make it count!

Thanks to Ned Braden over at the USCHO Fan Forum!

*Aw shucks! This was yesterday's news! Stafford was credited as even in the 4-1 Detroit loss to Vancouver and had a shot on goal and one hit in his 8:29 of ice time.

**Final Note on this story - Stafford is the FIFTH Wildcat to play in an NHL game this season and there are more on the verge including Jason Krog, Bryan Muir and Trevor Smith who is on an incredible tear of late amassing 7 goals and 6 assists in his last 12 games including a current, 8 game scoring streak, for a season total of 10 goals 8 assists in 33 games.

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

2007-2008 Hockey East Regular Season Champions!

Second consecutive and seventh Hockey East Regular season title earned with a complete season that included sweeps of BU, Maine and BC.


The University of New Hampshire Men's Hockey Team is your 2007-2008 Hockey East Regular Season Champions!!!

What a game!


We fought back the BC hacks, I'm sorry folks but they were nasty to the point where I could see that Gerbe is not the nastiest player on BC at times, and won in convincing fashion.

FOUR powerplay goals, incredible goaltending from Kevin Regan who only allowed three goals in the season series to the highly ranked BC offense. In the meantime the team combined for an average of four goals per game against the stingy BC defense.

Simply beautiful hockey. Smart and composed, skilled and gritty - a perfectly fought victory aside from that one excusable lapse that led to the BC goal in the 5-1 domination.

Congratulations guys!

Go 'Cats!

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's Game Night


2-0 'Cats!

An excellent hard fought game and there are no empty-netters here! Brad Flashians said that they're going to fight even harder tomorrow night at home - you heard it here!

Looking forward to tomorrow night's game - I'll see you there!

Go 'Cats!
Go 'Cats!
Go 'Cats!

Sorry about the misinformation, the puck drops at 7:30, pre-game at 7:00.

Well, our men have made the short trip to the Conte Forum to take on nemesis, Boston College. BC is a team that UNH has historically dispatched with ease. Coach Umile owns a 34-18-9 record versus the Eagles with one-third of the Wildcat losses coming in the last few years. This year, once again (for who knows how many times), UNH is number one in the league and BC is number two - to the point that BC fans have given up caring about their finish in the regular season as long as their team goes deep into the tournaments even though they choke with the big game on the line excepting 2001 (well, twice if you want to go back to 1949). On paper, or in electrons and pixels, our two teams seem identical except for one thing - BC has shown weakness lately, while our 'Cats seem stronger with each game.

Expect a battle.

Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Shoring Up The Blueline

Future 'Cats to the rescue!

With a number of upcoming departures on the defensive end of the ice The University of New Hampshire Wildcats secured commitments from two blueliners for '09 and 2010 - obviously these guys haven't heard that the world is coming to an end in 2012 - yes the Wildcats must win a National Championship before then, as a matter of fact some may just see that as the very event that precipitates Armageddon.

First up is Brett Kostolansky in '09. Born under the constellation Aquarius, on the 27th of January 1990 Denver, Colorado, Brett has recently gained all but the right to drink in the good ol' US of A. He has played for the legendary Shattuck St. Mary's School for at least the past four years culminating in this, his senior year, and 8 goals, 31 assists and just 16 penalty minutes in 44 games. What only Brett's tailor needs to know is that he is that he's 5'10" and 185 lbs - alright so his tailor needs a bit more than that but all we need to know is that he can play hockey something special and wants wear Blue and White! He is slated to play for the Chicago Steel next season.

Then the very next year we'll give a big welcome to Joey LaLeggia of Burnaby, British Columbia. At 15 (he'll turn sixteen on the 24th of June - alright, if you insist, born under the sign of Cancer in the Year of the Monkey) he is 5'8"-5'9" (reports vary but I don't think his height does) and 135 lbs but with plenty of time to grow. Regardless of size we know what we need to know and that is, this kid can play hockey! Joey is a highly-touted offensive defenseman who possesses excellent feet and has 7 goals and 31 assists, 28 penalty minutes, in 36 games with his Vancouver North-West Giants (the top team in their league) who came to the Whittemore Center for a midget (the hockey kind!) tournament in mid January. He has many options on the table for next season including staying put, the BCHL and the USHL.

Welcome, welcome, guys!

Welcome to you both!

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Win Is A Win

They didn't battle consistently but they battled and won when it counted - back with more tomorrow.

4-3 Wildcats!

Go 'Cats!

Keep Battling

The battle wages on.

Our guys have got to keep fighting and what a campaign it is.

Who's huge?

Kevin Regan - warrior Wildcat goalie. Most career wins. Most career games. Most career saves. Will probably leave the University of New Hampshire having dominated every goalie statistic category.

52 saves last night, a huge game, that boosted Kevin into a tie for third in save percentage in all of Division I college hockey - out of first by just one one-thousandth, with a .929. His goals against average, which is really more of a goaltender plus his team stat, is a 2.23 - good enough for 17th in D-I college hockey. And after the shellacking of pucks received last night, Regan's saves per game average climbed to more than twenty-nine per game! Incredible.

Who else?

Wildcat defense. These guys just keep grinding away at their game, every game. They've gotten tougher and tougher and a beautiful Wildcat Blue and White gem has begun to emerge - keep grinding!

Matt Fornataro. I can't say enough about our Captain. Thirteenth in Division I scoring. Thirteenth in points per game. A true leader who bleeds Blue and White. A true leader who's leading the fight. We're with you all the way Captain.

Mike Radja. Seventeenth in D-I scoring. Edges our Captain in points per game 1.28 to 1.26 for twelfth in the Division. Always there when we need him. Never giving up. Never surrendering.

Really, the entire team. Go out there and fight for us. Go out there and give everything you've got and Wildcat Nation will love you.

Go 'Cats!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Just Wanted To Say *UPDATE*

Even though I've been very ill of late, and thus the scarcity of posts (it's Friday already!?) I just had to stop in to say congratulations to Justin Aikins.

Justin has signed a PTO today with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. Hopefully he'll suit up tonight as they take on the Hershey Bears in Rochester. The '05 grad had 9 goals and 21 assists in 46 games with the Bossier-Shreveport MudBugs of the Central Hockey League, and the affiliate of the Rochester Americans and the Buffalo Sabres.

Congrats, Justin! Make it count!

Our 'Cats are lacing'em up as I type in preparation for battle against the Providence Friars in the Rhode Island capital.

Go! Fight! Win!

Go 'Cats!


*Justin has picked up an assist as of the time of this writing through two periods of that game - his first AHL game.

Way to go, man!

A worst-case scenario in my mind tonight, a 1-1 tie with Providence. Had we lost I think it would have been a galvanizing moment for our squad but hopefully this game will be that catalyst regardless. Kevin Regan had 52 saves - a career high. Dries got his seventh goal of the season on the powerplay. Our 'Cats have to want to beat them at this point. But, I do think the big sheet will be the Black and White's breaking point Saturday night on NHPTV - Welcome Back to the Whitt, Friars!

Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Welcoming Another Goaltender

It appears as if we'll be welcoming another goaltender next season and an old name.

Tyler Scott, the netminder of the the South Kent School Cardinals, has committed to the University of New Hampshire.

The details are scarce and his stats were tabulated by yours truly so I'm not sure as to the total accuracy of them, but they're in the rink.

Getting out the good ol' tape measure, Tyler is a 6'3", 185 lbs. post-grad goaltender who has more stops than all other NEPSAC Division I goalies who has also logged more minutes than any other goalie in the league. His 91.9% save rate is good enough for 14th in the division.

Welcome Tyler!

For those interested the 2004 grad, Tyler Scott, is playing defense in France with the Ligue Magnus, Grenoble Bruleurs de Loups and has 5 goals and 2 assists in 23 games and is a +5.

Go 'Cats!

Major Victory For Bloggers Everywhere

A bill is being sponsored by Reps. Ed Markey and Chip Pickering in order to keep the internet flowing freely, otherwise known as Net Neutrality.

If you've never heard of it be sure to check it out unless you want your favorite internet content or any potential future favorite internet content to come crawling to you even slower than it does today on America's pathetic communication infrastructure that falls further behind every day as the communication companies bilk every last penny from you for some of the world's worst internet service in a developed country.

Rant over. See the title-linked article if you would like to know more.

Go Net Neutrality!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Happy Hockey Monday!

Happy Hockey Monday Wildcat Nation!


What a weekend!

Mike Radja puts up 4 goals (a hat-trick, all three goals in Friday's game, plus one the next night) and 2 assists up in Orono. That brings his scoring to 6 goals and a 6 assists in the last 6 games! And 9 goals, 10 assists in his last 9! Whew!

And you can't overlook the contributions of our Captain who has 4 goals and 5 assists in the last 5 games and 5 goals, 12 assists in the last 11! Good enough for 11th in all of Division I!

Kevin Regan tops all Hockey East goaltenders in every in-conference stat and is only ever-so-slightly behind a couple in GAA overall. His .925 save-percentage is good enough for 10th in Division I college hockey - among a VERY stingy field. And amongst all goalies Kevin Regan sees the most vulcanized rubber per game, a near ridiculous, 28 shots per game. For comparison, the top five ranked goalies average just 23 shots per game with the highest at just 24 shots per game.

All in all, a great effort by our 'Cats as we look to close the regular season in the next four weeks. I'm certainly looking forward to this weekend's match-up with Providence College. One of my pre-season favorites for a home ice spot the Friars have lived up to, well at least my billing. They've been getting excellent goaltending from Tyler Sims and we fought them, or more accurately, Paul Thompson and James vanRiemsdyk fought them to overtime for the victory earlier in the season. But we're a different team now. Providence has always been a tough team but I think that they're going to see a really tough Wildcat team that will present a different look than before. We've got the fire in our belly and the chip on our shoulder and we're not going to back down and we will punish you.

Well, on to the pros where Ty Conklin improved to 14-3-3 and is still ranked first in save-percentage in the NHL with a win over James vanRiemsdyk's future team, the Philadelphia Flyers. And speaking of the National League, Daniel Winnik recorded another goal yesterday giving him 7 on the year. Combined with his 9 assists, good enough for a solid 9th in scoring on the Phoenix Coyotes roster in his rookie NHL season and just his second, full professional season.

Jason Krog is pulling away in the race for the American Hockey League scoring title. Some of his competition has been called-up to the NHL but he has maintained his great scoring pace and is currently at 24 goals, 48 assists for 72 points in 49 games.

Teammate Darren Haydar, last year's scoring champion, has been snake bitten recently but has a very respectable 27 points in 22 games.

Bryan Muir has continued to battle injury but has put together a string of very nice games lately from the blueline. He's cobbled together and incredible +16 rating in 25 games this season along with a goal and eleven assists!

Garrett Stafford returned from injury and had an assist in his first game back. He has 5 goals and 16 assists in 43 games maintaining his nearly .5 points per game professional average over his 5 year career thus far.

In the ECHL, to round out this cursory look at our Professional Wildcats, it's the goaltenders who are coming on strong.

Mike Ayers with his Charlotte Checkers and Jeff Pietrasiak now with the Texas Wildcatters have both put up phenomenal numbers themselves lately. Both winning in their last game.

Upfront, Kevin Truelson, Sean Collins (returning from a brief absence), and Preston Callander continue to put up excellent numbers. Of the rest I would note Andrew Leach who never really played a lot in the Blue and White but contributes mightily to his Trenton Devils. He has 5 goals and 8 assists in 43 games - that's near his career numbers at the University of New Hampshire, 6 goals, 10 assists in 93 games.

Time to get this post out to Wildcat Nation!

If anyone reading has any men's Wildcat Hockey News they'd like to share, be sure to comment. And if there's anything else you would like to let Wildcat Nation know go ahead and send it in and if it passes muster I'll be sure to pass it along!

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Man I'm Full!

It didn't look great, but man was it good!

UNH 4, Maine 1.

Even a little dessert there at the end from Radja who picked up his fourth goal of the weekend with the fourth goal of the night.

Now it's time to SWEEP up the crumbs and take a nap.

Go 'Cats!


My pre-game snack for today.

Game Snacks!

Thanks Bro, Thanks Ma!

But I'm hoping to fill up on some good ol' meat an' potatoes - Wildcat goals, saves and hits!

Go 'Cats!

Radja Scores, Scores, Scores

Mike Radja recorded the natural hat-trick with a short-handed tally in the third to beat the Maine Black Bears 3-2.

That's right, Mike Radja 3, Maine 2.

Go Mike Radja!

No, it really was a team effort but the rest of our men were stymied by a stifling Maine defense, leaving Radja's efforts as the only ones capable of picking it apart - mainly taking advantage of towering Maine defenseman, Simon Danis-Pepin.

Be sure to see the title-linked Hockey East Online recap for details.

And we'll be doing it all over again tonight!

Go 'Cats!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Finally It's Friday

Somehow, someway, we've made it to another Friday. After what has been a horrible weather week (at least in my neck of the woods) I think we're going to have to dig deep and stoke that fire in the belly.

While this Maine team has stumbled recently they are still a tough team. And they're going to be looking to redeem themselves for performances that they believe are below their capabilities when 7pm rolls around and Wildcat Nation tunes in those radios.

So, we're going to have to take the fight to them.

The team wearing the same colors as the team that crushed our hopes in overtime 1999.

The team wearing the same colors as that destroyed us in the Frozen Four 2002.

It's payback time, every time. There's no letting up. Go up there and bleed Blue and White boys. This is your time.


Skate hard, move those feet and keep those heads up. Full tilt for sixty minutes.


Hit'em. Blast that puck and win those battles. All out for sixty minutes.


Go. Fight. Win.

Go 'Cats!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Award Season Is Coming *UPDATE*

The nominees for the Walter Brown Award were announced today.

The nominees include two of our Wildcats for the best American born player in New England.

Senior goaltender - Kevin Regan


Freshman forward - James vanRiemsdyk

No big surprises there. You might ask why senior forward Mike Radja was not included as a nominee - I would think that it has something to do with his recent brush with the law.

Congratulations Kevin and James! Very well deserved recognition of your hard work, skill and dedication.

Go 'Cats!

Additionally, for those interest, Hobey Baker fan voting has begun. The process is already under heavy criticism of vote-rigging due to vast inconsistencies and irregularities in the vote, but feel free to get over there and vote for the best player in college hockey this year that demonstrates the qualities that Hobey Baker embodied.

*NCAA Skills Competition Voting has commenced as well!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Prudden Is On Fire Today!

I was just lamenting today that Josh Prudden had such a stagnant January after a good December.

Well, it must have got his ears burning and set his stick on fire!

Prudden erupted for two goals in the first period of the title-linked match-up between his Worcester Sharks and the Providence Bruins - the only AHL game today. Both goal were even strength.

The game stands at Josh Prudden 2, Providence Bruins 1 - with 16 minutes to play in the second period.

Go 'Cats!

Some Hockey With Your Football

NBC is televising the first American network broadcast of a National Hockey League game held in Canada, for the first time in more than 30 years!

Say it with me: We're American, but we can change, if we have to, we guess.

'bout time!

So I'll be watching the game, the puck drops a 2pm EST, before watching the pigskin spectacle.

Rangers, Canadians, 2pm EDT - NBC home of the 2008 Winter Classic.

And speaking of the Winter Classic how about an update on our very own, Ty Conklin, the winning goaltender of the 2008 Winter Classic.

Ty's continued his incredible play through 18 games now earning a 12-3-2 record with a 2.07 GAA (3rd in the NHL) and a .937 save-percentage (1st in the NHL). Having qualified for ranking amongst the NHL's goaltenders by playing in his 18th game of the season, Ty Conklin now owns the top ranked save-percentage in the NHL, beating out Boston's, Tim Thomas, who hails from the University of Vermont Catamounts.

And speaking of the Catamounts (are these some incredible transitions or what!?) how 'bout them 'Cats! Wildcats that is!

You'd think I directed that game from my pre-game post! The guys came out flying and although the first period was VERY quiet, they poured it on in the last two periods with a total game effort and were rewarded with a well-earned 5-1 win.

As I'd hoped, Greg Manz earning the opportunity to play made it count with a burst of speed that acknowledges why he became a Wildcat that led to his first collegiate goal. A number of Wildcat Nation faithful may remember an article shortly after Greg's commitment mentioning the speed for which he is highly regarded.

Matt Campanale made good too, finishing a +1 on the night in his 5th contest.

Also Mike Sislo joined the recent crop of Wildcats to skate the Gauntlet with his first collegiate goal as well on a great move. It seems highly interesting to me that a member of Wildcat Nation recently added a picture marker to the Wildcat Nation Frappr Map exhorting Mike with a 'Go Sis'. Hmmm.

That makes, let's see, vanRiemsdyk, Thompson, Dries, DeSimone, Vranek, Sislo, Manz - SEVEN Wildcats to skate the Gauntlet this year with the possibility of three more to come in Krates, Campanale and Beck!

Congratulations guys! To many more!

And we can't ignore the leadership of our Captain, Matt Fornataro. With two goals on the night to add to his team leading 31 points, just nine points shy of his career high 40. Also congratulations on reaching the 100 point career mark and then some - the 66th Wildcat to do so!

And that leads us to our sniper, Mike Radja, who showed that he can assist with the best of them when not adding to his team leading 13 goals. With his eleventh and twelfth assists Mike brought himself to just one shy of the century mark himself!

From top to bottom a great game - scoring from every line and Kevin Regan with another great outing stopping 19 of 20 through the sixty minutes - adding yet another win to his Wildcat record-holding stash.

So, stay healthy and fight it out every night!

Go 'Cats!

A few additional notes: A get well to Garrett Stafford who's been injured for most of 2008 so far, most recently as broken finger from which he should return this coming weekend. And extend that get well to all of the other injured 'Cats past and current. Lastly, a hearty, 'Great Job!', to all of the Wildcats out there who are representing! Too numerous to mention - please go to the 'Cats in the Pros section below and see how your Wildcats are fairing.

And I'd be remiss not to say,

Go Pats! Go Pats! Go Pats!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sean Collins Bobbleheads!

If you're in the Wheeling, West Virginia area and want to get your very own Sean Collins Bobblehead - get to the title-linked Wheeling Nailers' website and get your tickets now (the promo button link is in the lower right-hand corner)!

Unfortunately, if the pictured bobblehead is Sean (I'm dubious of the resemblance - the jaw isn't square enough and), he is not supporting his rally beard. :(

Get out there and see your 'Cats in action Wildcat Nation, wherever their careers take them!

Go 'Cats!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Just What The Blogger Ordered

An excellent 5-1 victory from our 'Cats!

I'll be back later with my take on the game but the title of this post pretty much says it all!

Well done, boys!

Go 'Cats!
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