Cover Girl

kara goucher       Duluth native Kara Goucher of Portland, Ore., gets some well-deserved recognition in the April issue of Running Times.
      The story is penned by St. Paul writer and runner Jim Ferstle and starts with Goucher’s NE Minnesota distance running roots.
      The story is headlined "Girl From the North Country."
      Goucher and husband, Adam, a 2000 U.S. track Olympian, will attempt to make the American team for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. She’ll be running the 10,000 meters and maybe the 5,000 and Adam likely the same.
      The U.S. Olympic Trials are in Eugene, Ore., starting June 27. Goucher had knee surgery in December, for torn cartilage, but is recovering well.
      Carrie Tollefson of St. Paul, a 2004 Olympian at 1,500 meters, also is noted in another section of the magazine, Road to Beijing, U.S. Women Getting on Track.

CC Impressive

     How good is Colorado College?
The question brought a unanimous response from Minnesota Duluth after being swept 3-0 Friday and 4-0 Saturday at home by the No. 3-ranked
Tigers:
     Coach Scott Sandelin: "Of the teams weve
seen in the second half of the season, they’re the best."
     Defenseman Josh Meyers: "They’re by far the
fastest team we’ve played. They made the plays and buried their chances."
     Goalie Alex Stalock: "Their team speed kept
leading to odd-man rushes and breakaways. They’re very good."
     It was a frustrating, goal-less weekend for
UMD in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Bulldogs were  blanked in consecutive home games for the
first time since Nov. 17-18, 1995, when Minnesota
won 2-0 and 7-0.
     UMD (12-12-6 and 8-11-5 in WCHA) dropped from
No. 8 in the PairWise Rankings to a tie at No. 12, and from sixth to seventh in
the league, one point ahead of eighth-place Minnesota.

     Colorado College
(23-8-1 and 18-5-1) stretched its first-place lead to four points and is 11-2-1
in 2008. The Tigers have defeated UMD in all four meetings this season 5-3,
3-0, 3-0 and 4-0, a combined 15-3.
     Colorado College star freshman goalie Richard
Bachman, ranked first in Division I for save percentage (.935) and goals-against
average (1.71), gained an amazing third straight shutout against UMD  a streak
of 197 minutes and 46 seconds over four games total. It marked the first road
series double-shutout in Colorado
College
‘s 70 years.
     UMD outshot Colorado College
60-56 for the series.
     "We had some momentum in each game and the
shots were even for both games. The difference is, Colorado College
scored on its chances," said Meyers.
     "Its
tough to lose when you put 30 shots on a goalie each night and dont score. Colorado likes a skating
game and I dont think we played in their face enough."
     Chad Rau, a junior center from Eden Prairie, Minn.,
scored two power-play goals Saturday for the Tigers and Bachman made 29 saves.
Senior defenseman Jack Hillen of Minnetonka,
Minn.
, had three assists.
     "We played a good methodical team game and
our defensive corps was really good. They defended well and got the puck moving
north," said Colorado
College
coach Scott
Owens. "Hillen might be the best defenseman in our league."
     UMD is 0-3-1 the last four home games while
scoring two goals total in that stretch. The Bulldogs started the season 4-0-3
at the DECC, but are 2-4-2 the last eight.
     "All weekend we were looking for that goal to
give you a little spark, some life, and couldn’t find it," said Sandelin.
"When you never find it, it zaps you mentally. They’re a tough team to play
catch up with, especially with the way their goalie’s playing."
      UMD
remains home this Friday and Saturday against No. 4 North Dakota, second in the
WCHA. After a non-league home sweep of Bemidji
State, the Fighting Sioux bring a
13-game unbeaten streak (12-0-1) to Duluth,
the longest in Division I.

CC Finishes Shut Out Sweep

     Would the ice
surface hold up after four games in 12 hours? And could the Bulldogs crank up
their offense at home?

     High school
playoff games at 10 a.m. and noon, followed by the UMD women against St. Cloud State at 3:30 p.m., had already given the
rink a workout.

     The ice was OK,
but things didnt get much better for the Bulldogs. First-place Colorado College showed exceptional speed and skill
in a 4-0 victory period before a crowd of 5,182, aided by two Chad Rau
power-play goals.

Colorado College
star freshman goalie Richard Bachman, ranked first in the WCHA for save
percentage (.932) and goals-against average (1.77), gained an amazing third
straight shutout against UMD — a streak of 197 minutes and 46 seconds over four
games total. It marked the first consecutive road series shutouts in
Colorado Colleges 70 years, and it gave the Tigers a
four-point lead in the WCHA over second-place North Dakota with four games to play. Bachman
had 29 saves.

     "We won the
league my freshman year and I remember how special it was," said Colorado
senior defenseman Jack Hillen of Minnetonka, Minn. "It’s something were looking
forward to and we wanted to start the last six games on the right foot."

     The Tigers
(23-8-1 overall, 18-5-1 WCHA) started with a 3-0 win Friday and never let UMD
into the series.

Going into
Saturday’s game, UMD had lost consecutive games just once this season, at
Colorado
College
on Nov. 9-10. The
Bulldogs (12-12-6, 8-11-5) hadnt been shut out in consecutive home games since
being swept by Minnesota 2-0 and 7-0 in 1995-96. The Tigers
outscored UMD 15-3 in four wins this season.

     "We had some
momentum in each game and the shots were even for both games [favoring UMD
60-56]. The difference is, Colorado College scored on its chances," said UMD
junior defenseman Josh Meyers. "They’re by far the fastest team we’ve played.
They made the plays and buried their chances.

     "It’s tough to
lose when you put 30 shots on a goalie each night and dont score. Colorado likes a skating
game and I don’t think we played in their face enough."

     Winger Eric
Walsky finished a 2-on-1 break with Matt Overman in the first period for the
Tigers, and Rau’s two power-play goals made it 3-0 after
two.

     Rau, a junior
center from Eden Prairie,
Minn.
, hit with 3:02 left in the
first period and finished a nice passing play late in the second to make the
Tigers 2-of-3 on power plays against the No. 2-rated penalty killers in Divison
I. He has 21 goals this sesason and 49 in his career.

     "You hang in
there with a team, then make a mistake and it feels like the game is over. Their
team speed kept leading to odd-man rushes and breakaways," said UMD goalie Alex
Stalock. "At this time of the year you cant be happy by not picking up any
points. We have to find a way to do something about it"

     Winger Jimmy
Kilpatrick scored on a tip at the right edge of the crease at 8:04 of the third
period, a play which gave star senior defenseman Jack Hillen of Minnetonka, Minn., a third straight assist in the
game.

     "We played a
good methodical team game and our defensive corps was really good. They defended
well and got the puck moving north," said Colorado College coach Scott Owens. "Hillen might
be the best defenseman in our league."

     UMD coach Scott
Sandelin reworked all of his lines following Friday’s loss, yet the Bulldogs
still found it rough going offensively. Bachman had one tough stop in the first
period, gloving Michael Gergen with 4:56 left. Seconds later, Gergen was called
for spraying Bachman with ice chips and that led to the Tigers scoring on a
power play.

     The No. 10 UMD
men are 0-3-1 the last four home games while scoring two goals total in that
stretch. The Bulldogs started the season 4-0-3 at the DECC, but are 2-4-2 the
last eight, and are clinging to seventh place in the WCHA, one point ahead of
Minnesota.

     "All weekend we
were looking for that goal to give you a little spark, some life, and couldnt
find it," said Sandelin. "When you never find it, it zaps you mentally. Theyre
a tough team to play catch up with, especially with the way their goalie’s
playing."

     UMD remains home this Friday and Saturday against North
Dakota
.

 

UMD Women Win 5-1

     Center Haley Irwin had two goals and linemate Laura Fridfinnson added a goal and an assist Saturday afternoon as Minnesota Duluth defeated St. Cloud State 5-1 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association women’s game at the DECC.
     The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs (26-5-1 and 23-4 WCHA) moved a step closer to a league regular-season championship. Second-place Minnesota is at home with Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon. No. 13 St. Cloud State (16-12-5 and 11-12-4) is fourth in the league.
   Irwin and defender Myriam Trepanier scored goals 11 seconds apart early in the second period for a 4-1 lead. Fridfinnson had the only goal of the third period at 2:57.
    The Bulldogs were up 2-0 after one period as Irwin scored a shorthanded goal 2:13 into the game and Elin Holmlov added a goal with 8:46 left in the first period.
      Irwin finished off a flurry in front of the St. Cloud State net at 3:23 of the second period for her 18th goal of the season and Trepanier followed at 3:34. The UMD women’s record for fastest two goals is six seconds.
     St. Cloud State winger Felicia Nelson broke goalie Kim Martin’s shut out bid with 2:39 left in the second period.
    The Bulldogs are 17-1 against No. 13 St. Cloud State at the DECC and 19-2 in Duluth overall versus the Huskies.
    Each team had six shots in the first period. Martin is in goal for UMD and Kendall Newell for St. Cloud State. UMD led in shots 17-11 after two periods and 27-15 for the game.

Tied at No. 10

     Friday’s 3-0 loss at home to No. 2 Colorado College pushed Minnesota Duluth down into a tie at No. 10 in the PairWise Rankings, falling from a tie at No. 8.

     The WCHA has eight teams in the top 15, including a Minnesota team (tied at No. 13) that many folks have counted out from any serious post-season play. Colorado College is tied at No. 2, North Dakota tied at No. 4, Denver at No. 6, Minnesota State-Mankato tied at No. 8, UMD at No. 10 (with Clarkson), St. Cloud State at No. 12 and Minnesota and Wisconsin at No. 13.

Lorraine Moller Honored

     Three-time Grandma’s Marathon women’s champion Lorraine Moller of Auckland, New Zealand, was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday.

     Moller, 52, won in Duluth three straight years — 1979 (2:37:37), 1980 (2:38:35) and 1981 (2:29:36, a course record which stood until 2003), and was a Minneapolis resident for a time. She’s one of New Zealand’s greatest distance runners, representing her country in the marathon at four Olympic Games, winner of three Avon women’s marathons, winner of the Boston marathon and three times winner of the Osaka International women’s marathon. 

     Moller, who lives in Boulder, Colo., ran competitively from the age of 13 until well into her 40s and had a reputation for being able to record world-class times in a range of events, from 800 meters to the marathon. Among many international successes, she won bronze medals in the 1500-meters and 3000-meters at the Commonwealth Games in 1982, silver in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games in 1986 in a time of 2:28:17, and bronze in the marathon at the Olympic Games in 1992 in 2:33:54. She’s widely credited with opening up the road racing circuit in the United States to women athletes.

     Moller was fifth in the 1975 world cross country championships in Rabat Morocco.

     Moller won New Zealand titles, road title in 1974, 1975 and 1979 and cross country title 1976.

     Moller says she’s happy to have come from a "perfect" era for women’s athletics. "The first women’s Olympic marathon (at Los Angeles in 1984), the whole professional movement, I was there. I wouldn’t give that up for anything."

IAIN McGREGOR/Waikato Times

Tigers Win 3-0

     Freshman goalie Richard Bachman handled a
difficult week and Colorado College survived a lack of numbers to move closer
to a Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season title Friday night at
the DECC.

     Colorado College
gained sole possession of first place with a 3-0 victory over Minnesota Duluth
before 4,632 spectators.
     Bachman, who attended the funeral of a
grandmother on Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah, arrived in Duluth about 12:15
a.m., saw the DECC for the first time at a morning skate, and then shut out the
No. 8-ranked Bulldogs for a second straight game.
     The No. 4 Tigers (22-8-1, 17-5-1 WCHA) took a
two-point lead over North Dakota,
which is playing out of the league this weekend. UMD (12-11-6, 8-10-5) dropped
from sixth to seventh in the WCHA, being passed by St. Cloud State
after a 4-1 home win over Michigan Tech.
     "My family understood what I had to do, that
I had to come here and play, and I had to play well for my family," said
Bachman, who is from Highlands Ranch, Colo., and leads the WCHA in
goals-against and save percentage. "We kind of rose above everything and thats
a good sign for our team.
    "Duluth
was throwing shots hard at us and crashing the net. They were right with us the
whole game."
     What the Tigers had to survive was losing
winger Addison DeBoer to a shoulder injury nine minutes into the game and then
losing defenseman Nate Prosser to a checking-from-behind major penalty with
three minutes left in the first period. Two other forwards are out because of
injuries.

     Colorado College
coach Scott Owens liked the effort he got. Centers Andreas Vlassopoulos and
Chad Rau scored goals 25 seconds apart in the second period, and Vlassopoulos
added a goal early in the third. Bachman had 31 saves.
    "We scored some nice goals, then tried to let
Duluth back in
the game with a slew of penalties, but we looked quick all night and got a huge
win," Owens said. "Richard stood tall and looked confident. Hes the main
reason were in first place, and we dont apologize for that."
     UMDs Alex Stalock was also strong in goal as
the Bulldogs led in total shots 31-28. The WCHAs top two penalty-killing teams
were also perfect in that category as UMD went 0-for-7 and Colorado College
0-for-8 on the power play.
     Bachman, who beat UMD 3-0 on Nov. 10 in Colorado Springs, Colo.,
now has a shutout streak against the Bulldogs of 137 minutes, 46 seconds. The
Tigers are 10-2-1 in 2008.
     "It was a feeling-out process in the first
period and in the second we got going, then we had some lapses," said UMD
captain Matt McKnight. "Our effort was decent for the most part, but three
breakdowns ended up in three goals in our net.
     "We talked about it all week that Colorado likes to skate
up and down the rink, and we wanted to slow it down and cycle the puck. We
cycled the puck, but you still have to get pucks to the net."
     The Tigers lost Prosser, a sophomore from Elk River, Minn.,
with 2:44 left in the first period on a checking-from-behind major as he
knocked UMD winger Andrew Carroll head-first into the sideboards.
      In the second period, Vlassopoulos connected
from the right circle on a sniping shot at 8:12, and, following a UMD turnover
at neutral ice, winger Mike Testwuide found Rau alone in front of Stalock for a
goal at 8:37. For Rau, a junior from Eden
Prairie
, Minn.
, it
was his 20th goal of the season.
     The Bulldogs, home for the first time in five
weeks, made Bachman work the last two periods. He gloved Justin Fontaines shot
in the second, stopped McKnight from close range midway through the third and
got a leg on a Jordan Fulton shot late in the third.
     But the Bulldogs couldnt break through and
lost for the third time at home this season.
     "We made some bad mistakes and they cost us
at least two goals," said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. "You have to bear down a
little more. Well have to play as hard and keep creating the same chances."

 

Colorado College                     0-2-1  3
Minnesota Duluth                     0-0-0  0

       First period –
No scoring. Penalties — Jay Cascalenda, UMD (holding), 6:31;  Josh Meyers, UMD (high-sticking),
10:28;   Tyler Johnson, Colorado College
(interference), 13:02;  Mike Curry,
UMD (interference), 15:37;  
Nate Prosser, Colorado College (5-minute checking from behind, game-misconduct,
served by Matt Overman), 17:16.
       Second period –1. Colorado College, Andreas Vlassopoulos 6 (Jimmy
Kilpatrick, Brian Connelly), 8:12; 2. Colorado
College
, Chad

Rau 20 (Mike Testwuide), 8:37. Penalties –Meyers, UMD (hooking), :30; Jordan
Fulton, UMD (holding), 9:01; Overman, Colorado
College (too many men on ice), 12:36;
Jack Hillen, Colorado (holding), 14:27; Rau, Colorado
College (tripping), 18:49.

     Third period — 3. Colorado College,
Vlassopoulos 7 (Bill Sweatt, Jake Gannon), 4:38 (4×4). Penalties — Johnson, Colorado College
(boarding), 3:05; Fulton, UMD (hooking), 3:56;
Ryan Lowery, Colorado CollegeFulton, UMD (boarding), 13:02; Matt Greer,
UMD (goalie interference), 13:47.

     Shots on goal — Colorado College
10-10-8–28, UMD 6-15-10–31. Goalies — Richard Bachman (20-5-1), Colorado College (31 shots-31 saves; Alex Stalock
(12-11-6), UMD (28 shots-25 saves). Power plays —
Colorado College
0-of-8, UMD 0-of-7. Referee  Don Adam. Assistants  Jerome Kreiger, Jared
Moen. A  4,632.

Shoot the Puck

     When Scott Sandelin writes about his life in hockey, one chapter will be entitled "See What Happens When You Shoot the Puck."

      It will include last week’s games against Michigan Tech in Houghton, Mich., when Minnesota Duluth’s coach saw some strange sights. Three unique goals gave UMD a 3-2 victory Saturday to finish 4-2 in six straight road games.

     The eighth-ranked Bulldogs (12-10-6) are at home consecutive weekends, starting with a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series opener with No. 4 Colorado College (21-8-1) at 7:37 p.m. today at the DECC.

     You want strange in a goal-challenged season?

     Example 1: Freshman defenseman Chad Huttel shoots from the right point and hits a skate or stick of a Michigan Tech defenseman, and the puck deflects past the WCHA’s top-ranked goalie, Michael-Lee Teslak, in Fridays 5-2 loss. It’s Huttels first collegiate goal.

     "You remember highlight-reel goals because you see them on TV all the time; they stick in your mind. But most goals arent pretty," said Huttel, who had 20 goals last season at Hermantown High School. "That goal caught me by surprise because Michigan Tech is so good at blocking shots. I didnt expect much to happen, but the puck went just a couple inches, and the goalie didnt see it at all."

     UMD is getting the most out of a 2.36 goals-per-game average. The Bulldogs have five wins by one goal — two in overtime — and gained Saturdays win as another freshman defenseman, Evan Oberg, scored with 60 seconds to play.

     Example 2: Nick Kemp smacks a right wing attempt that hits Teslak and pops up in the air. A Michigan Tech defender swats the puck up the slot as Oberg hits the ice on a shift change. His shot gets through a bunch of bodies, clanks off the left pipe and in. It’s Obergs first collegiate goal.

     "The way things had been going I didnt think Id be able to buy a goal this season, but there are always funny bounces," said Oberg, the top defenseman in Canadas Royal Bank Cup last season for Camrose, Alberta. You need to be lucky sometimes to be good."

     Said Kemp: "I went to the net after my shot, hoping for a rebound, but there was no rebound, which was even better. There is no bad shot in hockey."

     The Bulldogs have been outscored 59-50 in 22 league games and 67-66 in 28 games overall. That means one bounce can mean a win or a loss. UMD center Drew Akins scored on a dump-in shot from neutral ice, which stood as the winning goal at North Dakota on Nov. 24.

     Example 3: UMD sophomore defenseman Trent Palm works in the offensive zone Saturday when Michigan Techs Jimmy Kerr tries to clear the puck in front of the net. Kerr, instead, puts a shot off Palms stomach and past Teslak. Its Palm’s second goal of the season.

     "[UMD's] Cody Danberg had a shot right before that, to a wide-open net, but either he fanned on it or it went off his stick right to Kerr. I was following, in case of a rebound, and I was in the right place at the right time, Palm said. Weve seen other teams get bounces this year, and now were getting some."

     Example 4: After Palms goal, freshman winger Justin Fontaine stations himself at the left edge of the Michigan Tech net as Jordan Fulton cranks a power-play shot. The puck hits Teslaks blocker, Fontaine’s left shin pad and goes in. The goal stands after being reviewed.

     "Our game mentality has been to shoot the puck, that’s what weve been told, shoot the puck, Fontaine said. Youre not going to beat a lot of guys one-on-one, so you shoot and look for some lucky bounces."

     Sandelin says hes been preaching that and hed like the Bulldogs to put even more shots on net. UMD is averaging 26.6 per game.

     UMD winger Matt Greer says there was a bit of irony Saturday after the succession of strange goals, when the Bulldogs skated toward an empty net in the final seconds. Teslak had been pulled and UMDs Andrew Carroll was alone at the crease, but never got a shot off. Greer was behind Carroll, and he missed.

     "I dont know if you can really explain what happens on a play like that," Greer said. "Andrew got the puck back to me, at my feet, and I took a few swats at it, and it almost found its way into the net."

     Its been that kind of season.

Raymond: 1G, 1A, 1Shootout Goal

     Nashville outshot Vancouver 51-30 Thursday night in Nashville….and
lost 3-2 in a shootout. Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo was probably
the No. 1 star. Mason Raymond? Maybe No. 2 with a goal, an assist and a
goal in the shootout.
     Well, the three stars picked by the Nashville media: 1. Raymond, 2. Luongo, 3. Jason Arnott, Nashville.
     Here’s how the Vancouver Blogger described some of the action:
      CANUCKS SCORE – Raymond 6 (Shannon) 19:08 of First Period
     That’s one going on
YouTube! Raymond picks up the puck on the left boards, dekes through
the slot, gets in 1-on-1 on goaltender Chris Mason, then outwaits him long enough to
lift a backhander under the bar! Shades of Bure!
     CANUCKS SCORE – Edler 6 (Raymond, Shannon) 12:49 PP of Second Period
     Raymond tees it
up for Edler and Alex blasts a one-timer from the point past Mason.
There was traffic in front and the Nashville goaltender never saw it.
That makes it a two-point night for both Raymond and Shannon. 2-1
Vancouver.
                                                     SHOOTOUT

     1) Radulov – SAVE – Leg-kick, deke to the backhand, no dice. Glove save by Lui.
     1) Raymond – GOAL – Same move as Radulov but with better results. Raymond buries it just under the bar. Vancouver’s up.
    
2) Dumont – MISS – Dumont tried to outwait Lui and then fired a wrister low blocker side. He missed the net.
    
2)
Shannon – SAVE – Shannon comes in wide, cuts to the backhand, then
tries to swing back to the forehand but can’t get it around the pad of
Mason.
    
3) Legwand – SAVE – Luongo makes the stick save on Legwand to preserve the victory.