Welcome to The UNH Men's Hockey Blog, come on into the cold! A Blog about the best college hockey program in the world - The University of New Hampshire Wildcats. Here you will find UNH Hockey News, Stories, Stats, Recruits and more!
Join the rest of Wildcat Nation, from around the world!
Monday, March 30, 2009
I can't really say it any better than it's already been said.
As the third period of yesterday's game wound away there was a sense of resigned satisfaction among the faithful.
The Wildcats had given the Fighting Sioux a run for their money.
They had jumped out to an early lead to thrill Wildcat Nation - only to trail by the end of the first.
They rallied back to take a 3-2 lead - and had it evaporate shortly thereafter.
North Dakota would get the next three goals and with their fifth goal coming near the halfway point of the third period it would seem to spell out another season of one-and-done for the Wildcats.
But our Wildcats continued to play.
And Wildcat Nation was satisfied that our men had played their best. That they had given us all that they had. Then they showed us a little more.
A game for the ages.
Captain Greg Collins would sneak to the door post and take a beautiful pass from freshman, Damon Kipp - who played superbly yesterday afternoon showing us the face of future Wildcat leadership - who slipped the puck down from the point where the senior would redirect it past the North Dakota goaltender bringing the game to within one.
And Wildcat Nation began to wonder, does this team have the magic?
From that point on nothing would be held back. Brian Foster would uphold his end of the bargain. The players would sacrifice their bodies.
Then the moment arrived for Foster to head for the bench with many of the crowd protesting in fear of the open net. But it was out of our netminder's hands, whose final bid to help the team stay in the game would be to relinquish his post and leave it in the hands of his teammates with an extra skater taking his place on the ice.
Kapstad calls sophomore Sislo to take the left flank on the offensive blueline at the faceoff.
The senior defenseman stretches impossibly far for his 5'10" frame.
He corals the puck and sends it to the sophomore who fires.
There is Jerry Pollastrone. He has electrified the crowd by pulling down a pass from the hockey gods to tie the game at two earlier. But he is behind the net.
He sees fellow senior Thomas Fortney behind him, in front of the net.
It's deflected up.
The crowd erupts.
The UNH bench turns into a mosh pit.
Tie Game! Tie Game! Tie Game!
A few frantic heartbeats and Wildcat Nation was in a frenzy.
The battle was on.
The thrill has yet to die down.
The puck hits the ice.
Some neutral ice shuffling sees the puck go back and forth and a quick line change brings Peter LeBlanc onto the ice.
Before leaving the ice, Sislo finds Pollastrone who slips over the line heading out wide to the left. LeBlanc streaks up the middle. Pollastrone flips the puck to LeBlanc.
The crowd's roar reverberates through the building.
The teams shake hands to congratulate each other on an absolutely incredible game.
The UNH Men's Hockey Team salutes the still roaring crowd then takes to the locker room for a well-earned break.
That brings us to today.
The Wildcats will take on top ranked BU.
There is nowhere that you want to be other than the Verizon Wireless Arena today.
Tickets are still available.
Let's fill this building and send our Wildcats off with the hero's farewell, one way or another, that they deserve.
Now, how about seeing some highlights from yesterday's game one more time...
I've been fortunate enough to be able to play some hockey with Gilford, New Hampshire native, Alan Thompson. While well down the road to recovery from his latest round of surgery to repair knee injuries incurred back in high school, Thomspon stopped by his local hockey rink for some stick-and-puck to get some ice time in and you could immediately see what the UNH forward brought to the game. Though he was taking it easy you could see Alan's smooth, quick stride. His heads-up play, tape-to-tape passes and, on my end, his creative and pin-point accurate shooting that has a tendency to find some holes in your goaltending. The forward was extremely solid defensively and it was the rare moment when someone there could get the puck by him or take it away from him before he had a good chance on net or found a linemate for the pass.
This was towards the end of nearly four years of injury and recovery that has all paid off for this New Hampshire native as evidenced, as if you need more proof, from this excerpt from Hockey East Online.
"UNH senior forward Alan Thompson (Gilford, N.H.) earned the 2009 Turfer Athletic Award, presented annually to an individual, coach or team who best represents the core values of Turfer Athletic; tenacity, commitment and innovation. Thompson has recovered from several career threatening injuries, has remained a tireless worker and positive contributor for the Wildcats playing in 31 games overall this season, after playing in only seven games in his first three seasons"
Scoring three goals and five assists this season, Alan Thompson.
(TUMHBG) Welcome to the blog, Alan. You've got to be happy with the season you had personally and you were award the 2009 Turfer Athletic Award for tenacity, commitment and innovation - that's got to mean a lot to you for all of the hard work you've put in over the years.
(A.THOMPSON) I am honored to be named the first recipient of the Turfer Award and I am flattered that the league chose me as the recipient, as I'm sure there are a lot of nominees in our league that have gone through some tough times in the past and persevered just as I have. Just shows, although a tremendous cliche, that hard work and 100% effort in anything you do will be rewarding in the long run. I feel very lucky and thankful to still have the opportunity to play at a high level after all the surgeries and would like to thank all of my teammates, coaches, and fans for never giving up on me.
(TUMHBG) You'll be playing in your first NCAA Tournament game. Your thoughts?
(A.THOMPSON) Very excited to be playing in the NCAA tournament and I am looking forward to helping our team get a hard fought victory over a tough North Dakota team. The last week or so was very frustrating after the losses to BC and I am looking forward to getting our first NCAA win in Manchester.
(TUMHBG) Describe your experience at UNH thus far.
(A.THOMPSON) My experience at UNH was not how I planned (spending three years recovering from injuries), however, still very enjoyable both around campus, in the classroom, the nightlife, and in the rink (especially this season). I met a lot of interesting and exciting people and have made many lifelong friends. Being injured for three years allowed me a unique opportunity as a player to experience the social aspect of college maybe more than some of my teammates, which is one positive that I can pull out of the injuries. Although I would have rather spent the time playing and in the lineup all four years, I did meet a lot of people and experience many things that I might not have experienced had I been in the lineup every night for four years.
(TUMHBG) You've got one year of eligibility left. What are your plans for the future?
(A.THOMPSON) I am still undecided about next year and will have a meeting with the coaching staff and talk with my parents after this season and see what options are available and what I want to do. I may play here again next year, I may try to play professionally somewhere, or I may hang em up and head into the real world.
(TUMHBG) As the master of injury recovery I have to ask - I just injured my knee - any advice for helping me get through the recovery process?
(A.THOMPSON) My advice to you for a successful recovery is to not rush the healing process (something I did much to often) and do a lot of hamstring and quadriceps strengthening.
(TUMHBG) Will do. So, anything you'd like to say to Wildcat Nation?
(A.THOMPSON) To Wildcat Nation: Thanks for your support throughout the years and I look forward to seeing you in Manchester for a well fought victory against North Dakota and BU/Ohio St.
Thanks, Alan. It's been great watching you out there and even better playing against you at stick-and-puck a while back, I hope to see you out there again someday!
In the NHL this past week both Wildcat Alumni playing in the world's top league represented well. Ty Conklin stopped 24 of 26 last night as his Detroit Red Wings edged the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. And Daniel Winnik scored his third goal of the season to kick off the scoring for his Phoenix Coyotes in a 5-1 rout of the Vancouver Canucks.
In the AHL, Jason Krog had a spectacular weekend amassing three assists on Friday, a goal and an assist on Saturday and an assist last night - all part of a 5 game scoring streak during which he has 2 goals and 7 assists. His recent outburst of points is good enough to move him into third place in the league scoring race with 77 points in 66 games, 10 points behind league leader, Keith Aucoin, who has 87 in 66 games played.
Darren Haydar had a three point weekend with a goal and an assist on Saturday and a goal on Sunday. His 72 points through 70 games rank fifth in the league. Fellow alum and teammate, Garrett Stafford, recorded an assist in his last outing to round out his impeccably consistent numbers with his best season yet - 11 goals and 30 assists (+/- a couple assists) will hitherto be known as 'The Garrett Stafford' and I believe should be made into an award for consistent, high-level play in the AHL. Stafford is a +5 and has amassed 46 penalty minutes in 64 games this season.
AHL Rookie, Joe Charlebois picked up his first professional point a few games back with the Rockford IceHogs. Teammate and fellow alum, Mike Radja, had a goal and an assist in his last two games before missing the IceHogs' last couple contests.
Trevor Smith had a goal and an assist over four games in the last week.
Eric Boguniecki had a goal and an assist as well over three games in the past one-fifty-secondth of a year.
And Matt Fornataro notched a powerplay goal and an assist in the Worcester Sharks' 5-3 win over Trevor Smith and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers last night.
Finally, a look overseas on notice from our Finnish Bureau brings news of a couple Wildcat alums who have helped their team to a Metis League Championship after finishing (pun intended) second in the regular season. You can see a photo of Justin Aikins and Josh Prudden holding the cup with fellow North American, Paul Cabana (scroll down). The victory means that their club, Sport Vaasa, can contest for a spot in the countries' highest league, the SM-Liiga, where fellow alum, Steve Saviano plays for Tappara Tampere. Steve has recorded 6 goals and 15 assists in 57 games - very similar to his point totals last season. Many thanks to our Finnish correspondent for the update!
I apologize for not being able to get to all of the alums out there but keep playing and keep working hard and feel free to contact me to let me know how you're doing or where you'll be playing!
And if any member of Wildcat Nation has been tracking their favorite player or players please contact me with any news or statistics that you would like to share with the rest of the Nation!
Welcome 2011 recruit, Jeff Wyer, goaltender out of Reading High School, Reading, Massachusetts.
Wyer is best known for being a key component of last year's Reading Rocket's team that became the first public high school to win Massachusetts' Division 1A Super 8 Tournament. Jeff shut-out their opponents, the Malden Catholic Lancers, in that game. Said of the Future 'Cat,
"Our line didn't win it, our D didn't win it, it was Jeff in net that got us to this point," said Kiley. "He amazes me sometimes how he does it." (Boston.com)
There's a sweet highlight video associated with the link above where you can see that Wyer is clearly a top talent in the crease with sound positioning, fluid movement, quick reflexes, focus, great hockey sense and on top of it all battles to make the big saves.
Former Merrimack College head coach and coach of the defeated Lancers, Chris Serino, had this to say,
"When he came out of the first period playing that well, I knew it was going to be a long night,"
Now, for some really astute readers of TUMHB you may recognize the Doherty name but with a different first name attached. Peter's son, Mark, Reading's assistant coach, played for our own University of New Hampshire Men's Hockey Team from 1981 to 1984 and was Captain of the team right before their inception into the newly minted Hockey East Conference. Mark played in 73 games for the Wildcats scoring 86 points and is one of the annual returnees for the Alumni Game.
As for Jeff, he was nominated Globe Northwest Hockey's number one star this year by Boston.com (3/19/09)
No. 1 star Jeff Wyer, Reading: The senior posted nine shutouts and allowed 34 goals in 23 games (1.48 goals against average)[more]
The UNH Hockey Recruits and Prospects Blog reports that Wyer will spend the next two seasons with the EJHL's Valley Jr. Warriors, though I would not be surprised if that stint is shortened to one season if his performance merits it.
News was awfully sparse last week but we return again with Wildcat Hockey Monday - Tournament Edition.
First, congratulations to the Terriers of Boston University. The once powerful program has reestablished itself this year with its third Regular Season title since the turn of the third millennium and their second Tournament Championship during that time frame. They tie UNH and Maine for Tournament Championships in the modern era but remain behind the Boston College Eagles who have four. Their three Regular Season Championships rank them third behind UNH and BC who both have four, one of them shared. Finishing first in the league this season means no team other than BU or our own New Hampshire Wildcats have put together the best record over the past four seasons.
One thing that I'm sure the Terriers will be looking to address this year is the fact that they have not advanced beyond an NCAA Regional in more than a decade and I can't say I wish them any luck in the endeavor this year.
Because doing so will mean that our Wildcats have been defeated in their Regional for the sixth straight season.
As the tenth seed overall, the University of New Hampshire Wildcats drew the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, the eighth seed, in the preliminary Northeast Regional match-up this Saturday. The top ranked Boston University Terriers were slotted to attend their closest regional which meant coming to hostile territory in Manchester, New Hampshire where the University of New Hampshire is hosting the Northeast Regional for the 2009 NCAA Divison I Men's Hockey Tournament at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Ohio State University will round out the field of four in the Northeast, facing BU in the 5:30pm time-slot.
A loss, or any number of losses, is not indicative of systemic failure.
Once again the Wildcats finished near the top of the toughest league in college hockey. And I want to stress that word - hockey. I know many of us die-hard hockey fans don't like to admit that other games that people play actually amount to a sport but let us suspend our disbelief for a moment. In many of these other games a single team or a couple teams often dominate an entire season. In hockey this is extraordinarily rare. We worship a sport where the top ranked Boston Bruins fell to lowly New York Rangers a couple weeks ago in a game in which the best professional team in the land simply could not put a play together for the first forty minutes. A game where the top ranked college team in the country lost a playoff game to a program on its last, dying breath. These things happen in the sport we love.
Now on to some specific points.
Brian Foster allowed just one goal on Saturday night. A goal scored on a partial screen from close in and on the backhand which anyone who keeps up with the greatest sport on earth knows is the most difficult to track and predict for a goaltender. All this in a first full season as starting goaltender in almost three years and in which he has dealt with injury. Has he had tough games? Every goaltender does. Take Ty Conklin for example. The goaltender voted best in UNH History. He let in four goals in just the first ten and a half minutes of a game a couple weeks ago.
James van Riemsdyk, the team's best player - arguably the best in college hockey - turned over the puck on an errant, forced pass that led directly to the lone BC goal. He also managed only one single bid in the game on goaltender John Muse which came from way out on the left wing and Muse had little trouble with it.
This is not to say they are or are not at fault. Hockey is a team sport. No one shoulders the blame alone. Not even a couple someones. You win as a team, you lose as a team.
For BC's part they did exactly what they needed to. They trapped like there was no tomorrow - and literally there was no tomorrow for their season if they lost. There's still no tomorrow for their season if they can't knock off BU as the Hockey East Tournament continues. And if they play the way they did Saturday night they certainly have a chance.
I understand the disappointment but these are the facts.
And not to harp on the team but there are some other tough facts. Leagues' worst powerplay. Third to worst penaltykill. Second to worst goals against per game. The highest scoring senior was Kevin Kapstad - I needlessly remind you that he is a defenseman. There is only one player on the team that scored more than a point per game. The senior class accounted for just 30% of team scoring but amounted to almost 40% of the team. These are highly unusual statistics for any team that someone might actually expect to win games in college hockey.
But this is hockey. And this is college hockey nonetheless. Passions run high. There are surprise teams. Upsets. Rebuilding years. Ups and downs and highs and lows. Yet amazingly the University of New Hampshire Men's Hockey Team has found a way to win at least 20 games in each season for the last 12 years. A feat which they are just one victory shy of this year. They've made the NCAA Tournament each of the last eight seasons including this one and so they will have that opportunity to continue the streak of 20 win seasons. They've made the Tournament twelve out of the last thirteen seasons. Fourteen of the last sixteen and fifteen of the nineteen seasons with Head Coach Dick Umile at the helm. As to the lack of a National Championship from their four Frozen Four appearances in which they've had two Championship games? I've already addressed how this is hockey, college hockey no-less, and I would add that there is a reason the NHL plays at least four games to determine their champion aside from the additional revenue.
This is hockey. You've got to love it.
That's all I've got this Monday, March 16th, 2009.
For our UNH Men's Hockey Team it will mean doing the little things right. If they do what they know to be right, what they've been coached to do, everything will turn out alright tonight.
For me, The UNH Men's Hockey Blogger Guy, it means putting down the pen tonight to be there for my brother and my friend who have lost their jobs these uncertain economic times.
So tonight, I will have to break my promise to be here for my loyal readers. But, I won't be absent from Wildcat Nation. I will join the many who will make their way to Durham tonight to support the team we love so well. I'll be picking up the tab for a couple of great people who I know would do the same for me and I hope to give us a night to enjoy our shared humanity.
If you can't get to the game, nor the B2 Feed or you simply feel like chiming in on some hockey talk - whatever the reason! - come on back to The UNH Men's Hockey Blog and join in my live blog with the pre-game starting at 6:30pm!
This Wednesday's Wildcat Alumni Weekly will focus on Matt Fornataro.
The AHL rookie Wildcat Captain Alum had a banner weekend helping his Worcester Sharks win two of three during my favorite part of the week.
Beginning Friday night Matt kicked off the weekend in a big way by scoring twice and assisting once in a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phantoms. After falling behind early, Fornataro notched the equalizer and then got an assist on the eventual game winner before putting home his second goal of the night, earning him the first star of the game.
The next night of their homestand, this time versus the Albany RiverRats, he would get the first marker of the game on the powerplay in what would be another 4-1 decision and Sunday he would figure in the first tally of the game while they hosted the Manchester Monarchs where they fell 4-3.
Fornataro's weekend denotes a personal best, three game scoring streak, a two goal/three point night and his three goals, two assists over that span demonstrate his most productive streak of the season and his young career to date. All together Matt has 9 goals and 13 assists through 40 games with the AHL squad.
Ridiculously, there are no readily available highlights of ANY of these games through AHL Live!
In other AHL news, scoring legend, Darren Haydar, is in the midst of another unbelievable scoring tear. With his current streak at 9 games this Wildcat Captain Alum has 17 points and has registered at least one point in 16 of his last 17 games during which he has totaled 10 goals and 18 assists. The feat puts the Grand Rapids Griffins' Captain in fourth place among league scorers which is just ahead of fellow Alum, yet another Wildcat Captain, Jason Krog, who is tied for fifth.
Wildcat Alum, Trevor Smith, had a five game scoring streak snapped tonight but his Bridgeport Sound Tigers went on to top the Lowell Devils by a score of 2-1. Trevor produced very balanced scoring through the string of games, coming away with 3 goals and 3 assists.
Finally, the only Wildcat playing with any consistency in the NHL this year is goaltender, and yet another Wildcat Captain, Ty Conklin. Last night an overtime goal made his 21 saves on 23 shots stand as a 'w' for his Detroit Red Wings and boosts his record to 8-2 in his last ten starts. He continues to rank in the top ten in league goals against average, coming in seventh with a 2.38, and is seventeenth among NHL goaltenders with a 91.4 save percentage.
Well, that's all I have for you this week! Until next...
Help me give a warm welcome to Future 'Cat, Jamie Hill.
Hill, a '92 birthdate out of Glassboro, New Jersey, plays for nearby Team Comcast of the Atlantic Youth Hockey League in which he leads the Midget-16 National Division for scoring with 23 goals and 52 assists. Just ahead of teammate and fellow Future 'Cat, Kyle Smith, who is second with 36 goals and 38 assists.
Like many hockey players at this age he also plays for his high school prep team, the Bishop Eustace Crusaders, where it seems you could make a scrapbook from the photo journalism capturing Hill's moves in the number eight jersey.
Where five point nights - three goals and two assists like this recap - seem commonplace.
At 5'9", 162 pounds, Hill looks to be about average size out on the ice but where he excels is his tenacious hockey sense, balance, shifty moves and a hard nose for the net as displayed in many of the highlight videos on the Crusader's website linked above. Playing like he has a lot to prove - reminiscent in some ways of Wildcat Great, Darren Haydar - he is real playmaker who can move the puck and score with ease. And even completes the package with his willingness to mix it up physically on top of it all. Did I mention he's quick?
Philly.com reports on Jamie's commitment to the University of New Hampshire while rattling of his current team leading statistics and his second all-time numbers in school history.
Captain Greg Collins scores in overtime to defeat the Vermont Catamounts and secure third place in Hockey East to conclude the 2008-2009 Regular Season.
An unbelievable finish.
Between the 'Cats and the Cats they possessed two goaltenders of the month for February between their respective pipes. But that was February and this is March. The Hockey East Itech Goaltender of the Month, Brian Foster for the 'Cats, and the Hockey East and National Rookie of the Month, Rob Madore in net for the other Cats. They let in a total of 21 goals over two nights. Both backstops let up six goals in their respective losses. Seriously.
But, how about Wildcat Captain, Greg Collins overtime goal!?
UVM Athletics has video of the goal but surreptitiously only posts their own school's goals in their YouTube highlights. Wildcat Advisory for the link: If you are a friend or family member of Wildcat netminder Brian Foster, viewer discretion is advised.
Now I must say, as I already have, that it was very respectable of the University of Vermont Catamounts to briefly recognize the Wildcat seniors on UVM's own senior night. But not showing full game highlights? Stay classy, Burlington.
Other notes on the weekend.
The Captain also had two assists to go with his overtime goal. He has three goals and three assists in his last four games.
Peter LeBlanc reversed the numbers with two goals and an assist, compiling a four game scoring streak composed of three goals and an assist.
Damon Kipp and Matt Campanale each registered their first collegiate point - a goal for Kipp and an assist for Campanale.
And, as noted in the latest Hockey East Weekly Release, 17 of 18 Wildcat skaters registered a point on the weekend. Surprisingly, the only Wildcat left out of the scoring was freshman, Stevie Moses - don't expect that to last once the Eagles arrive in Durham this weekend.
Speak of the Eagles.
It's high time the Wildcats take them out of the post-season, for good.
A pair of wins this coming weekend, like those a couple weekends ago, and those Eagles will be hitting the links.
And not that a team needs more motivation to send the Eagles packing but there is also the fact that they have bested a UNH squad in each of their last five post-season match-ups together. The difference between those games and the coming weekend? Those were one-and-done games held in Boston's TD Banknorth Garden. These games will be at home on the Towse Rink in the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore Center. Home of the Wildcats.
Time to serve BC that dish best served cold. And there's no place to do it like UNH's own olympic ice sheet.
Up tomorrow! Another Future 'Cat! They just keep coming! I'll introduce you to 2011 recruit, New Jersey's Jamie Hill, teammate of fellow Future 'Cat Kyle Smith, who we made acquaintances with just a couple weeks ago!
On Wednesday, more stellar performances as we continue our weekly look at UNH Men's Hockey Wildcat Alumni playing in the professional ranks!
There's nothing at stake this weekend but a meaningless position. It's like the elephant in the room. We could sleep walk through this one. We cannot control our opponent until tomorrow night and only then if Lowell ties or wins tonight and BC loses. The Wildcats' berth in the NCAA Tournament is all but assured. Sure a couple victories over Vermont might boost our standing in the PairWise Rankings enough to change the fortunes of who we'll face in the first Regional Tournament game but it's a big might. And it's never a clear cut victory when facing any of the top teams in the nation over another of the top teams in the nation. I just don't see any big gains to be made this weekend except in bragging rights. So, let's take'em! Let's not forget Vermont's win on Senior Night last year. It's time to finish it right!
Sorkin, a '91 birthyear player who hails from Rockville, Maryland - about an hour away from UNH senior, Jamie Fritsch's hometown of Odenton, Md - attends Bullis Preparatory School where he stars in hockey and golf. Having chosen to play for the Bulldogs to further his academics, Nick actually missed some games this season while the team struggled to a 7-8-2 record. Even still, the senior actually managed 20 goals and 25 assists in an unspecified number of games. I'm guessing from the data availble that his 45 points came in fewer than 17 games.
For Team Maryland he ranks third in scoring with 7 goals and 14 assists through 14 games. His fourteen assists ties for tops on the team and those twenty-one points are also good enough for sixth overall in the division.
With all of that said it may seem repetitive to say that many in Maryland believe that Sorkin is the best player in the state. Wootton High School winger Jon Cohen states outright that, “Nick is the best player in the state. If he had come to Wootton we probably would have won states two years ago, maybe even three years ago, too.” (from the story in the previous link). Oh. Wootton High School? Just the undefeated, back-to-back state champion public high school that this Future 'Cat would have attended if he had not chosen the preparatory route.
Like Jamie before him, Nick will be making the trek north to the well respected New Hampshire Junior Monarchs system and the Eastern Junior Hockey League to further hone his hockey skills next year before matriculating to the University of New Hampshire in 2010 or 2011.
Sorkin also plans to declare for the 2010 NHL Draft.
Now, if these big things aren't literal enough for you I've heard USHR reports that some are projecting him to reach 6'3" to 6'4" in height.
Told you they were saying big things about him.
Welcome to Wildcat Nation, Nick!
And while we're on the topic of big Future 'Cats, if you haven't seen the article on fellow Future 'Cat, Justin Agosta, from February's New England Hockey Journal, here it is!
WWAW has turned into TDHS this week - hopefully your regularly scheduled programming will return next week!
We could very well ask ourselves WHDHD?
What has Darren Haydar done?
Well, since his four assist night that we reported on last week, Darren has constructed a seven game (he has an assist already tonight) scoring streak during which he has amassed at least fourteen points as the game tonight is still in progress. He followed up that four assist night thusly: one assist, one goal, three goals, one assist, three assists. Unfortunately they do not have highlights of Haydar's hat-trick night.
This latest outburst has allowed Haydar to catch and surpass fellow Alum, Jason Krog, for fourth place in AHL scoring with a 63 point tie but a numerically superior goal total, with Darren ahead 24 to 21.
I'm looking forward to what our Wildcat Alums will accomplish down the stretch!
And what better time to drop the biscuit on our latest giveaway!?
I've got AHL tickets (definitely two, possibly four) for some lucky reader in the Rockford, Illinois area.
If you've been following along you know that the IceHogs feature two Wildcat Alumni - Mike Radja! And recent addition, Joe Charlebois!(who have the misfortune to be behind two, after two, to Darren Haydar, Garrett Stafford and their Grand Rapids Griffins tonight!)
But what's more, the tickets, for March 21st, 2009 are for their match against Jason Krog and his Manitoba Moose!
Three Wildcat Alums! For free!
So! If you're interested and can make the game, contact me (my email is found through my blogger profile) and we'll get some lucky members of Wildcat Nation free tickets to the game!
March is here! The end of the regular season is nigh!
Our 'Cats ended up in a couple close ones to Merrimack this past weekend but played some good hockey. In doing so they secured home ice once again for the Hockey East Quarterfinals where they will face... um... we don't know.
As always in Hockey East the going is tight down the stretch and the magic of the final game pairing almost never fails to amaze. With the Wildcats neck-and-neck with Vermont they will play... Vermont in the final week of Hockey East Regular Season action! And this weekend the Quarterfinal matches will be made.
Already, Providence and Merrimack have been eliminated from the competition due to their dismal season records. The rest of the field, while locks for the league tourney, are anything but settled. BU can catch first place Northeastern easily and will probably need to win out against Providence, which shouldn't be a problem except that the Friars did manage to knock the Terriers off mid-season. The Huskies on the other hand have the deck stacked against them facing an always tough BC Eagles team for their chance to secure first place in what would be the first time a team other than New Hampshire, Boston College, BU or Maine has won the Hockey East Regular Season! From there, ugh. There are many permutations left but roughly they amount to UNH and Vermont fighting for third or fourth and Lowell and BC scrapping over fifth and sixth with UMass and Maine actually settled in seventh and eighth upon further review. So questions remain from first to sixth. Northeastern and BU, depending on who turns out on top, will face either UMass or Maine who they should handle easily. On the other hand, many more possible turns exist in the third through sixth where whichever team winds up on top of the set - third/fourth, fifth/sixth - could end up facing either of the teams in the other set. What we do know is that both UNH and Vermont will host either Lowell or BC for their Hockey East Quarterfinal.
Should the 'Cats split or tie the weekend with the Cats then they would still own the season series and the third place spot. It would take a sweep by the Catamounts to upset our Wildcats. I hope the guys will have none of that. Moreover, this UNH team stands to gain ground in the PairWise Rankings should they knock off the 5th ranked Vermont.
Another great weekend of Hockey East hockey ahead!
And one more bit of news this Monday.
I'm giving away a $20 gift certificate to Hayden Sports!
In honor of his participation with the blog, Zac P. of Kensington, New Hamsphire, a freshman at the University of New Hampshire, is being awarded this gift certificate! Thanks for making the blog a better place, Zac!
Also enjoy AHL Live for free tonight where you may be able to view Alums like Darren Haydar, Garrett Stafford (both with Grand Rapids - come on now, keep up!), Kevin Regan (Providence), Trevor Smith (Bridgeport) or possibly even Jacob Micflikier (Rochester).
What's more? Starting tomorrow and running through March 7th, the NHL Network is featuring a free preview of their live services. Awesome!