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Friday, December 22, 2006

Teddy Bear Toss Distribution; News Tribune

The News Tribune went along as UMD men's and women's hockey players handed out the stuffed animals that were thrown on the ice during the 'Teddy Bear Toss' this year.

There's a great ARTICLE in today's paper about their visit to St. Mary's hospital.

Just a small part OF that article:

For the children at St. Mary’s, MRIs, chemotherapy and IVs are an unfortunate part of everyday life.

However, for a few minutes, five UMD hockey players broke that routine by spreading some joy. Nick Kemp, Mitch Ryan, Matt Niskanen, Vacker and O’Toole didn’t wear Santa suits and bring elves — they wore their game jerseys and brought teddy bears. But the results were the same — smiling, laughing and thankful children caught up in a Christmas moment.

Go read the full article by clicking on this blog title

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Midseason stats, from USCHO.COM

To check out the UMD Women's midseason stats go HERE.

7 players have double digit point totals, but the goal production needs to rise the 2nd half of the season

Sunday, December 17, 2006

WCHA women's mid-season standings

Now that BSU has swept NoDak, the midseason standings, with most teams off for 3 weeks:

WCHA Women - 2006-2007 Standings

                         Conference Only                    
Pts GP Record Win% GF- GA

1 Wisconsin 27 16 12- 1- 3 .844 62- 25
2 Minnesota 23 14 11- 2- 1 .821 49- 22
3 Minnesota Duluth 21 16 10- 5- 1 .656 60- 25
4 Ohio State 15 14 7- 6- 1 .536 36- 35
5 Bemidji State 11 14 5- 8- 1 .393 32- 49
Minnesota State 11 16 5-10- 1 .344 43- 52
St. Cloud State 11 16 4- 9- 3 .344 39- 59
8 North Dakota 1 14 0-13- 1 .036 11- 65

With 3 teams tied for 5th place, the playoff picture probably won't develop until the very last weekend (the weekend UMD plays Minnesota up at Duluth Marshall's Mars Lakeview Arena, btw)

John Gilbert UMD/Ohio State story

The following is an article by John Gilbert about OSU's unbeaten streak ending to UMD, posted on WCHA.com:

As role-reversals go, this was a classic. Ohio State travels to Duluth to face the University of Minnesota Duluth's perennial women's hockey power - a familiar scene during the eight-year history of the two programs. That's where things became unfamiliar.

A two-part quiz is in order: 1. One of the two teams extends its nation's-best unbeaten streak to 10 games (9-0-1) by cruising to a 3-0 shutout victory in the first game. 2. One of the two teams snaps out of its own nine-game (1-7-1) slump, in which it had scored only one goal in the four most recent games - all losses - by winning the second game.

Which team is which? The easy money would say UMD is the answer to question 1, because the Bulldogs have been on hot streaks every year, and had lost only two of 34 previous games against Ohio State; and that Ohio State would be the answer to question 2, because the Buckeyes have always been competitive, but it has been a difficult quest to reach elite status, and besides, UMD had never had such a prolonged slump.

The logical answers would be: wrong, and wrong, Zamboni-breath!

It is the Ohio State Buckeyes who go into the holiday break as the hottest team in the country, by stretching their streak on Erika Vanderveer's 3-0 shutout. Even though their program-record unbeaten run came to an end in the second game at Duluth, the Buckeyes had long left behind their own five-game losing streak during a 2-5 start by rising to 7-6-1 in the WCHA and 10-7-1 overall. Strong goaltending and defensive play, and balanced scoring all came together for coach Jackie Barto, whose objective-setting Buckeyes fittingly started the 9-0-1 streak with a 2-1 victory over Minnesota, and it lasted through the 3-0 victory at Duluth, in which defenseman Tessa Bonhomme scored in the opening minute of both the first and second periods, and team scoring leader Erin Keys, who assisted on the first two goals, made it 3-0 with her 11th goal, only five minutes into the second.

And it is the UMD Bulldogs who stumbled through a school record slump that reached its lowest point when they were shut out by Vanderveer despite 11 power-plays that were both a tribute to the Buckeye penalty-killers, and a study in ineptitude for a Bulldog team that opened the season 8-0 in the WCHA and overall but are now 10-5-1 in the league and 10-7-1 overall. Program record slump? Four straight losses compare to the fact UMD had only lost three in a row twice - last year and in their first season of 1999-2000. And a and had only one winless streak that went as long as four games, in that first season, when they played top-two rated New Hampshire and Minnesota back to back.

Perhaps it was predictable that when OSU's unbeaten streak ended, and UMD's slump was snapped, it would be of seismic proportions - and it was, as Noemie Marin scored three goals and Tawni Mattila two as UMD went 6-12 on power-plays and romped 9-1 by hurling 50 shots at Vanderveer. But even that couldn't dampen the spirit of the Buckeyes and coach Barto.

"They came out hard, and played with purpose, on a mission," said Barto. "Give Duluth credit."

It was considerably easier to be gracious in defeat than in past years, when losses to UMD were pretty consistent, now that the Buckeyes have cracked the nation's top 10, and have moved up impressively enough to stretch the WCHA's "top three" to a "top four" with Wisconsin, Minnesota and UMD.

This time, Barto set some small objectives for little victories in the third period, and after being outshot 45-17 through two periods and eventually trailing 8-0, Katie Mahoney's goal broke Kim Martin's shutout bid and Ohio State outshot the Bulldogs 17-5 in the third period.

Barto had to be upset about the constant stream of Buckeyes going to the penalty box in both games, with 17 infractions for 45 minutes in the first game - 2:47 of it spent facing 5-on-3 power-plays - and 15 for 38 minutes in the second - unusual numbers for a team that entered the weekend in the nation's lowest percentile of being penalized. That resulted in 23 power-plays for UMD in the two games, to 10 for Ohio State. But Barto held her cool.

"The officials do the best they can, and we try to do the best we can," said Barto, in a wonderfully subtle evaluation.

Always organized, Barto sets goals for her teams, but to suggest that is the reason for OSU's record surge is because of those goals is oversimplifying things.

"Within games, I'll set some goals, and I set some pretty high goals for the season before we started," said Barto. "One was to challenge the top teams in the WCHA, and another was to make the NCAAs.

"I think the strength of our team is that we've had outstanding goaltending, and good team defense, and everyone has been contributing," said Barto. "Keys has been a big contributor on offense, and leads us in goals and assists, but during our streak, I think we found that the girls play hard for each other, and everybody works to do the little things that lead to success."

Keys, who played at Cretin-Derham Hall high school in St. Paul, has emerged as a strong scorer this season and leads the team with 11-13-24. She plays right wing with Peckles at center, and Jody Heywood at left wing on an all-junior line. But other than second line sophomores Morgan Marziali, who has 7 goals, and Hayley Klassen, who has 5, no other forward has more than four goals.

The scoring of the defense has been a real strength. Senior Amber Bowman (5-17-22) and Bonhomme (9-11-20), a junior, form a formidable first tandem on defense that no other team in the country can match, and junior Lisa Chesson (5-11-16) is close behind.

"Tessa Bonhomme, Amber Bowman, and Lisa Chesson are three of the top defensemen in the league, and they're all among our top scorers," said Barto.

Vanderveer, a senior from Bradford, Ontario, is the pillar of strength in goal who has been the beneficiary of the team's uplifted play this season. She had given up just nine goals in the 9-0-1 streak, and for the whole season she stood 10-2-1 with a 1.31 goals-against and a .954 save percentage, and she made 41 saves in the second game, and the nine goals only raised her goals-against average to 1.86, and lowered her save percentage to .938.

"I don't think we helped her much in that one," said Barto. "Erika is a competitor, and this won't bother her."

As for the slowly evolving parity within the WCHA, Wisconsin, Minnesota and UMD are still there, but Ohio State is leading the way for the rest of the WCHA, where Minnesota State, St. Cloud State, and Bemidji State have improved considerably, and North Dakota is rebuilding.

"I don't think anyone can take a night off any more in our league," said Barto. "We played very well and it was an exciting stretch during our streak, but now we'll have to see what happens as we get closer to the league playoffs and the NCAAs,"

Those objectives are still out there, and another streak can wait until after the holidays.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Noemie Marin 'Bulldog Spotlight'

UMDBulldogs.com has a Noemie Marin spotlight up this week.

After last years news filled off time around Christmas, it's nice this year to have little to talk about during the college hockey break.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Halfway point of the season

With the halfway point of the season here, hopefully the month off gives the team time to get healthy. They need Kim Martin to completely heal from her Four Nations injury that shes' played through, and Hough and Jubinville need to be back as well.

Also the new year should bring about Heidi Pelttari's first Bulldog action as she's expected to be eligible come January.

As mentioned before, the 2nd half of the season brings Niagara University to the DECC in what SHOULD be just a tuneup for UMD.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sid Meier's Civ IV rocks

I finally broke down and bought Civilization IV after looking at it on the shelf at Wal-Mart for months.... After updating my graphics card driver the game runs good and has better sound than any of the other versions.

One thing though, WHY Leonard Nimoy (aka SPOCK from Star Trek) as the narrator? It is great to hear quotes though when you "discover" a new skill/technology, but Nimoy? Oh well.. it's still not that bad.

The Civ franchise kicks ass of course as always.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

News Tribune OSU Saturday story

The NEWS TRIBUNE STORY for the 9-1 UMD win.

It mentions a 'to do' list for Saturday's game:
* Lack of scoring: Coming into the game, UMD had been outscored 27-20 in the past 10 games. On Saturday six UMD players contributed goals. Marin had a hat trick and third-line sophomore Tawni Mattila scored twice.

* Ineffective power play: UMD had 13 power plays — including two 5-on-3 advantages — in Friday’s loss. Six of Saturday’s goals were power play goals.

* A lot of perimeter play with very few actual shots on net: The Bulldogs outshot the Buckeyes 50-34.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Finally! UMD wins 9-1 over OSU

First, the USCHO post I made tonight:
The powerplay... well, went 6/12 tonight... the BIG difference is.. the PASSING was crisp and they shot BEFORE OSU could get settled rather than shooting into players as much tonight. Rasmussen and Trepanier still did, but they're the 2nd line powerplay.

UMD won 9-1 today (the men gave up a 3 goal lead 3 times to lose in OT tonight btw) in a longggg game. The game went 2 hours 30 minutes.. I swear a FULL hour of that was the 2nd period. Noemie Marin had a hat trick and Tawni Mattila scored TWICE, hopefully that breaks her out of her scoring funk.

Kim Martin played great, stopping 33 of 34 shots. OSU outshot UMD 17-5 in the 3rd, though UMD outscored them 2-1.

It's about time they actually blew someone out.. I think they needed that going into a month break before playing Niagara. Not to sound like a proponent of running up the score, but UMD's powerplay has been non-existent this season and they NEEDED the first line powerplay out there even in the 3rd with the game already decided.

News Tribune Friday story

The Duluth News Tribune story for the Friday OSU game.

Friday, December 08, 2006

OSU beats UMD 3-0

UMD lost to Ohio State 3-0 tonight.... they went 0 for 13 on the powerplay and barely looked like they wanted to score on it. Right now, I can't even think of one "highlight" to UMD's game. Tomorrow's an afternoon/evening doubleheader with the women and OSU and then the Men playing Bemidji(they lost to Bemidji up IN Bemidji tonight).

News Tribune Preview

The NEWS TRIBUNE has a weekend preview article up tonight about the OSU series. Ashly Waggoner has been made an assistant captain. Samantha Hough is now out until January when the season restarts. It's a good preview article, posted for Friday's paper I'm sure.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ohio State's website preview

Ohio State's preview for this weekend's series at the DECC can be found by clicking HERE!

Just to throw a little JINX in the pot ;) OSU's on a 9 game unbeaten streak. From the OSU press release:
During the nine-game unbeaten streak, the Buckeyes are 8-0-1 and are out-scoring their opponents 28-9, including a 13-2 margin in the third period. Opponents are 1-of-45 on the power play for just a 2.2 percent conversion rate. Ohio State has scored nine power play goals and two shorthanded goals.

UMDBULLDOGS.com Ohio State weekend

The UMDBulldogs.com weekend preview for the Ohio State series is up. Click the blog title to go see.

From that story, the OSU notes:
OHIO STATE NOTES: Ohio State swept Minnesota State University-Mankato (2-1 and 4-3) back on Nov. 24-25. The Buckeyes moved to 10-5-1 overall with the victories and 6-5-1 in the WCHA. OSU is riding a nine game (8-0-2) unbeaten streak headed into this weekend's series against the Bulldogs. Buckeye junior Tessa Bonhomme tallied a goal and an assist for OSU in Friday's win. She also had the game-winning goal. Jody Heywood scored the other goal of the game with Shelby Aldous assisting on the goal. Erika Vanderveer made 22 saves in net for OSU. Junior forward Erin Keys tallied two goals and an assist and senior Amber Bowman had three assists in Saturday's game. Vanderveer made 19 saves on the night for the Buckeyes to improve 9-2-1 on the year. Ohio State had 42 shots in the game, while MSU had 22.

As I mentioned before.. UMD must sweep this series to make OSU's games at hand not matter as much, to stay in at least 3rd place for the league playoffs.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

UMDBulldogs.com player focus: Jessica Koizumi

Instead of a weekend preview, today, UMDBulldogs.com put up a Jessica Koizumi focus, probably the same one that will be in this weekend's game program.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Updated standings, Collegehockeystats.net

Once again, "borrowing" college hockey stats.net's table code for weekly standings:

WCHA Women - 2006-2007 Standings

                         Conference Only                    Overall
Pts GP Record Win% GF- GA GP Record Win% GF- GA

1 Wisconsin 25 14 12- 1- 1 .893 57- 20 18 16- 1- 1 .917 80- 21
2 Minnesota 19 12 9- 2- 1 .792 40- 21 16 12- 3- 1 .781 57- 33
Minnesota Duluth 19 14 9- 4- 1 .679 51- 21 16 9- 6- 1 .594 52- 28
4 Ohio State 13 12 6- 5- 1 .542 32- 26 16 10- 5- 1 .656 55- 31
5 Minnesota State 9 14 4- 9- 1 .321 36- 46 17 6-10- 1 .382 51- 54
St. Cloud State 9 14 4- 9- 1 .321 34- 54 18 7- 9- 2 .444 54- 57
7 Bemidji State 5 10 2- 7- 1 .250 21- 40 16 4-10- 2 .312 32- 56
8 North Dakota 1 10 0- 9- 1 .050 8- 51 16 3-11- 2 .250 23- 64

At this rate, UMD will finish 3rd in the league, Minnesota has 2 games at hand still and so does OHIO STATE, so this coming weekend at the DECC, UMD needs to sweep OSU to get far enough ahead to not worry about OSU catching up

Sunday, December 03, 2006

UMDBulldogs.com story

While there's no Duluth News Tribune story online, UMDBulldogs.com of course has the GAME STORY. The Text:

The power play once again proved to be the decisive factor between the University of Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey team and Harvard University on Saturday as the Bulldogs dropped a 4-0 decision to the Crimson, with three of the goals coming on the power play for Harvard.

The Bulldogs (9-6-1) were assigned 11 penalties for a total of 22 minutes in the contest while Harvard was saddled with five penalties for 10 minutes. UMD went 0-for-5 on the power play and Harvard (11-1-0) went 3-for-11.

“Both teams competed extremely hard tonight and both teams played extremely well. The puck went in for Harvard and didn’t go in for us,” said UMD head coach Shannon Miller.

Harvard’s Caitlin Cahow scored at 8:18 of the first period and scored her second goal of the game at 9:55 in the second period. Sarah Vaillancourt assisted on both goals and Julie Chu assisted on Cahow’s goal in the first period of play.

Jenny Brine put the Crimson up 3-0 near the end of the second period when she scored at the 18:47 mark. Katie Johnston assisted on the goal.

Vaillancourt scored the final goal of the game at 16:48 of the third period. Cori Bassett earned the assist on the play.

Kim Martin, UMD’s freshman netminder, took the loss for the Bulldogs. She made 19 saves in the contest and allowed three goals. Martin split time in goal with senior goaltender Riitta Schaublin, who allowed one goal and came up with nine saves. Harvard’s Christina Kessler earned the win for the Crimson, making 20 saves.

The Bulldogs will be in action on Friday and Saturday against Ohio State University (Dec. 8-9) at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. The puck is set to drop at 7:07 p.m. on Friday and at 3:07 p.m. on Saturday.

Saturday afternoon/night is a DOUBLE HEADER... the Men play Bemidji State at 7:07 that night.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Harvard sweeps UMD

I didn't get home to listen to most of the game, but it sounds like Harvard pretty much dominated the Saturday game against UMD, winning again. I'll post the newspaper and umdbulldogs.com stories of course Sunday afternoon

UMD drops game 3-1 to Harvard

Short article from the NEWS TRIBUNE from the Harvard game... UMD spend a ton of time short handed during the game.

The UMDBULLDOGS.Com story.. about the same, with the same quote from coach Miller.