A Running Weekend

     Co-worker Mark Stodghill, 61, of the Duluth News Tribune, a prolific distance runner, sent along the following e-mail from his experience last weekend of completing three marathons in three days. He’s completed more than 200 in his career:

     Ran the Lake Tahoe Triple Marathon Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Three marathons in 4:43:25, 4:40:35 and 4:50:33. The Sunday Marathon was opened to all comers and had a lot more runners. There was also a half-marathon Sunday. Finished third out of nine in the men’s 60-64 age division in Sunday’s Marathon. Got a unique brass Lake Tahoe trophy for finishing all three marathons. It was a great, unique event.
     Lake Tahoe is at 6,200 feet — 1,000 feet higher than Denver. They also set record high temperatures in the area on Friday and Saturday. Upper 80s, low 90s. The Sierra Nevada mountains make the weather a little unpredictable. It’s 72 miles around the lake.  You start each day’s marathon where the previous day ended. It’s probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever been in the world. I’d rate that this way: 1. Lake Tahoe; 2. Sedona, Ariz.; 3. Jackson Hole, Wyo.
     I never saw the final total of entrants in the Triple, but there were 78 on one list that I saw. I spent time with two fellow Triple runners — one from Tokyo and one from Montreal. It tells you how international an event it was.

     For inspiration I ordered a running book from Amazon to take along to read. It turned out being the greatest book of long distance running I’ve ever read. I recommend it highly: "Born to Run,’ by Christopher McDougall, an AP reporter. I’d guess that I’ve read between 20 and 30 books about running. This is No. 1.

      Next up: Stodghill hopes to complete his 23rd straight Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday and his 12th straight Whistlestop Marathon in Ashland, Wis., the following Saturday.

INCH Ranks Recruiting Classes

      The 2009-10 Division I recruiting classes as ranked by Inside College Hockey. Minnesota Duluth is No. 11, fifth among WCHA schools.

     AND, this just in, former UMD defenseman Jason Garrison, an NHL rookie, has made the 24-man, opening-day roster for the Florida Panthers. Florida begins the NHL season in a series with Chicago on Friday and Saturday in Helsinki, Finland. The Forida defensemen are: Bryan Allen, Keith Ballard, Jason Garrison, Ville Koistinen, Kulikov, Jordan Leopold, Bryan McCabe, Dennis Seidenberg. Ballard and Leopold are former Gophers.

      And, Jay Rosehill, very briefly a UMD defenseman for 34 games in 2004-05, made the Toronto Maple Leafs roster as a left winger. He had 103 penalty minutes with the Bulldogs.

TOP 15 FRESHMAN CLASSES
No.
School
1.
Notre Dame
Top newcomers: D Sam Calabrese, F Kyle Palmeiri, F Riley Sheahan
2.
Denver
Top newcomers: D Matt Donovan, F Drew Shore, D William Wrenn
3.
Boston College
Top newcomers: F Chris Kreider, D Patrick Wey, F Steve Whitney
4.
Minnesota
Top newcomers: F Zach Budish, D Seth Helgeson, D Nick Leddy
5.
Harvard
Top newcomers: D Danny Biega, F Marshall Everson, F Louis Leblanc
6.
Boston University
Top newcomers: F Alex Chiasson, F Justin Courtnall, D Max Nicastro,
7.
St. Cloud State
Top newcomers: F David Eddy, F Ben Hanowski, G Michael Lee
8.
North Dakota
Top newcomers: F Mike Cichy, F Danny Kristo, D Andrew MacWilliam
9.
Rensselaer
Top newcomers: F Jerry D’Amigo, F Brandon Pirri, F Marty O’Grady
10.
Michigan
Top newcomers: F Chris Brown, F Kevin Lynch, D Lee Moffie
11.
Minnesota Duluth
Top newcomers: F Dan Delisle, D Dylan Olsen, F Mike Seidel
12.
Wisconsin
Top newcomers: F Derek Lee, D Justin Schultz, D Craig Smith
13.
Cornell
Top newcomers: F Eric Axell, D Nick D’Agostino, F Greg Miller
14.
Yale
Top newcomers: F Josh Balch, D Jessie Hudkins, F Andrew Miller
15.
New Hampshire
Top newcomers: D Connor Hardowa, F John Henrion, D Brett Kostolansky

Four Days from Official Practice

      Minnesota Duluth is on the DECC ice this week and officially begins practice Saturday — there will be 90 minutes on the ice Saturday morning followed by an exhibition with the University of British Columbia at 7 p.m.

      Two senior defensemen will not be in the lineup — Chase Ryan broke his left wrist a month ago, off ice, and will be sidelined two-to-three more weeks, and Trent Palm had two surgeries after last season to correct congenital hip problems and could be sidelined until December. Palm has been on the ice for a bit this week.

      That means returnees Chad Huttel, Mike Montgomery, Brady Lamb and Scott Kishel will be on the ice a lot along with freshmen Dylan Olsen, Wade Bergman and Drew Olson. In a ranking of incoming Division I defensemen, by Inside College Hockey, Olsen is ranked No. 2 behing Minnesota’s Nick Leddy. Those defensemen rankings are here.

      Line combinations are changing daily, but centermen being used are Drew Akins, Jack Connolly, Travis Oleksuk, Rob Bordson and freshman Dan DeLisle.

     Also, in an ECAC preseason media poll, Clarkson is ranked No. 8 among 12 teams. Clarkson is at the DECC on Oct. 30-31. Here’s the ECAC poll –1. Yale (15), 2. Cornell (7), 3. Princeton (2), 4. Harvard (1), 5. Dartmouth, 6. Union, 7. St. Lawrence, 8. Clarkson, 9. Colgate, 10. Rensselaer, 11. Quinnipiac, 12. Brown.

    Also, the Bemidji Pioneer is reporting that WCHA schedules have been put together for the new 12-team configuration, beginning in 2010-11. The under-construction Bemidji Regional Event Center will debut in a Bemidji State series against North Dakota on Oct. 15-16.

     The DECC expansion will also be ready for play in 2010-11, but not until December

      Bemidji State, in its final season in College Hockey America before joining the WCHA, is picked to win that league. The Beavers have a home-and-home series with UMD on Jan. 22-23. Here’s the CHA poll – 1. Bemidji State (2), 2. Niagara (2), 3. Robert Morris, 4. Alabama-Huntsville. CHA poll is here

     In the CCHA, Michigan is the top pick by coaches and media. UMD’s season-opening pair of games, at the DECC on Oct. 9 and 11, has Lake Superior State at No. 10 and 11, while Northern Michigan is No. 5 in the 12-team league. Nebraska-Omaha, and new coach Dean Blais, in their final CCHA year before joining the WCHA are ranked No. 6 and 7. The CCHA polls can be found here.

     The UMD women open the regular season at home Friday and Saturday against Robert Morris of Moon Township, Pa. Robert Morris, with fourth-year head coach Nate Handrahan, was picked second in the 2009-10 College Hockey America preseason poll. It’s the highest the Colonials have been selected in a preseason poll. Last season the Colonials were 12-20-3 and third in league play at 5-9-2.

Ciskie, Again

     Here’s an official proclamation from Red Rock Radio Corp on something that was official last week:





Red Rock Radio of Duluth is proud to confirm that Bruce Ciskie will be the voice for UMD men’s hockey this season.  Ciskie was the voice of UMD Hockey for three seasons at Midwest Communications prior to signing with Red Rock Radio. 

 

“We’re very excited to have a man of his caliber on our team for the upcoming Bulldogs season.” said Shawn Skramstad, Red Rock Radio Vice-President and General Manager. 

 

“I’m thrilled to be here and be back in the booth, I’m very excited for the start of this hockey season.” said Bruce Ciskie.

WCHA Media and Coaches Poll

     Here’s information from a WCHA men’s media poll for 2009-10, from Todd Milewski of the Madison Capital Times and Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal, and a link to a story that ran with the poll here. And below that is the Grand Forks Herald coaches poll. The polls are identical execept for spots at Nos. 7 and 8. Minnesota Duluth is sixth in both.

MEDIA POLL

Team (first-place votes) Points
1. Denver (23) 248
2. North Dakota (1) 205
3. Wisconsin 190
4. Minnesota (1) 186
5. St. Cloud State 152
6. Minnesota Duluth 118
7. Colorado College 101
8. Minnesota State-Mankato 88
9. Alaska Anchorage 57
10. Michigan Tech 30

Player of the year: Jordan Schroeder, so., F, Minnesota
Rookie of the year: Mike Lee, G, St. Cloud State

All-WCHA First Team
Forward: Jordan Schroeder, so., Minnesota
Forward: Ryan Lasch, sr., St. Cloud State
Forward: (tie) Justin Fontaine, jr., Minnesota-Duluth; Rhett Rakhshani, sr., Denver
Defenseman: Patrick Wiercioch, so., Denver
Defenseman: Chay Genoway, sr., North Dakota
Goaltender: Marc Cheverie, jr., Denver

Voting panel: Kevin Allenspach, St. Cloud Times; Roman Augustoviz, Star Tribune; Andy Baggot, Wisconsin State Journal; Mike Chambers, Denver Post; Bruce Ciskie, UMD radio/Fanhouse.com; Chris Dilks, Western College Hockey Blog; Shane Frederick, Mankato Free Press; John Gilbert, WCHA.com; Kurt Haider, UAA radio; Dirk Hembroff, MTU radio; Tim Hennessey, UND radio; Ken Landau, CC radio; Don Lyons, SCSU radio; Todd D. Milewski, USCHO.com; Dan Myers, collegehockeynews.com; Jess Myers, insidecollegehockey.com/USA Hockey Magazine; Joe Paisley, Colorado Springs Gazette; Kevin Pates, Duluth News Tribune; Brian Posick, UW radio; Brad Elliott Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald; Wally Shaver, Minnesota radio; Theresa Spisak, USCHO.com; Jay Stickney, Denver radio; Mike Sullivan, MSU radio; Doyle Woody, Anchorage Daily News.

GRAND FORKS HERALD COACHES POLL

A link to the Grand Forks Herald story is here.

1. Denver (8) 80
2. North Dakota (2) 70
3. Wisconsin 61
4. Minnesota 58
5. St. Cloud State 55
6. Minnesota Duluth 37
7. Minnesota State-Mankato 34
8. Colorado College 26
9. Alaska Anchorage 20
10. Michigan Tech 9

Player of the Year: Ryan Lasch, St. Cloud State (3); Jordan Schroeder, Minnesota (3); Chay Genoway, North Dakota (2); Rhett Rakhshani, Denver (1); Patrick Wiercioch, Denver (1).

Rookie of the Year: Mike Lee, St. Cloud State (5); Nick Leddy, Minnesota (2); Dylan Olsen, UMD (2); Matt Donovan, Denver (1).

More Preseason Polls

     Ready for more preseason polls?

Hockey knowledgeable Buce Ciskie has his WCHA picks if you click here. He has Minnesota Duluth No. 4.

And the USA Today-USA Hockey Magazine Division I Top 15 is below:

 

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine
(First-place votes in parentheses)

Rank

School

2008-09
Final Rank

2008-09 Record

1

Miami (Ohio), 457 (4)

2

23-13-5

2

Denver, 455 (13)

7

23-12-5

3

Boston University, 438 (12)

1

35-6-4

4

Michigan, 384

5

29-12-0

5

Notre Dame, 370 (5)

4

31-6-3

6

Minnesota, 270

NR

17-13-7

7

Cornel, 254

12

22-10-4

8

North Dakota, 227

13

24-15-4

9

Princeton, 223

15

22-12-1

10

Massachusetts Lowell, 175

NR

20-16-2

11

Yale University, 149

10

24-8-2

12

Boston College, 117

NR

18-14-5

13

St. Cloud State, 106

NR

18-17-3

14

Wisconsin, 80

NR

20-16-4

15

Vermont, 73

3

22-12-5

Others receiving votes: New Hampshire, 71; Minnesota Duluth, 64; Ohio State, 60; Air Force, 43; Northern Michigan, 31; Colorado College, 8; Northeastern University, 8; Bemidji State, 6; Harvard, 3; Mercyhurst College, 3; Niagara, 3; St. Lawrence, 2.

 

Stalock to Worcester in AHL

     Former Minnesota Duluth All-American goalie Alex Stalock of South St. Paul spent most of the NHL preseason with the San Jose Sharks, but was sent to Worcester (Mass.) in the American Hockey League on Sunday. Worcester opens the regular season Saturday on the road against the Adirondack Phantoms. Worcester finished its exhibition schedule 1-2.

     Also, single-game tickets for 2009-10 Minnesota Duluth men’s and women’s hockey home games went on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. Tickets can be purchased in person at the UMD Athletic Ticket Office and the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center ticket office or by contacting Ticketmaster (1-800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com).

     The UMD women open the season Friday and Saturday at home against Robert Morris. The UMD men officially open practice Saturday — and will play a home exhibition against the University of British Columbia at 7 p.m. that day.

More WCHA Rankings

     The Web site Goon’s World, which can be found here, takes a shot at ranking the WCHA for 2009-10. Here you go:

1. Denver – It would appear that the Denver Pioneers don’t have many real weaknesses offensively; on the blue line the Pioneers will be young this season. There is a very good possibility that there could be two or three freshman defenseman playing in the top 6 defensive positions from night to night. The WCHA championship is theirs to lose. The Pioneers return forwards Anthony Maiani (11g-30a-41pts), Rhett Rakhshani (15g-22a-37pts), Joe Colborne (10g-21a-31), and Tyler Ruegsegger (15g-11a-26pts). On defense Patrick Wiercioch (12g-23-35pts) decided to not sign a contract. Junior goalie Marc Cheverie (23-12-5, 2.34 GAA and .921 SV %) is a very serviceable goaltender and with a younger defensive core he will be tested. The Pioneers lose forward Tyler Bozak (8g-15a-23pts), defensemen Patrick Mullen (4g-21a-25pts), and J.P. Testwuide (3g-10a-13pts). Dustin Jackson (3g-9a-12) was injured in preseason practice and will be out for the year. The Pioneers bring in some impressive recruits, defensemen William Wrenn and Matt Donovan, forward Drew Shore and goaltender Adam Murray. The Pioneers are the odds on favorite to finish first in the WCHA. Anything less than a trip to the Frozen Four is going to be unacceptable.

2. Wisconsin – On paper the Badgers would appear to have one of the best defensive blue lines in college hockey: Brendan Smith (9g-14a-23pts), Jake Gardiner (3g-18a-21pts), Ryan McDonagh (5g-11a-16pts), and Cody Goloubef (5g-8a-13pts) is a pretty solid top four defensive group. While there seems to be the perception around the WCHA that Wisconsin is all defense and no flash, the Badgers were ranked 3rd in WCHA scoring last season. This season the Badgers should be a pretty balanced offensively, led by sophomore Derek Stephan (9g-24a-33pts) who is a game breaker and will only get better in his second season. The Badgers also return senior Ben Street who sat out last season with a knee injury. The biggest question mark for the Badgers is in goal.

3. North Dakota – Dave Hakstol has been the coach of the Fighting Sioux hockey team for five seasons and has compiled a 130-70-19 record, winning a regular season title and a conference tourney title. Hakstol’s teams have also finished 2nd (x1) and 3rd (x3) in the NCAA tourney. Last season was the first time in his tenure at UND Hakstol’s team didn’t win a regional title and advance to the Frozen Four. Key losses Ryan Duncan (20g-19a-39pts), Brad Miller (6g-29-35pts), and Matt Frattin (13g-12a-25pts). While there were some key losses for the Fighting Sioux, there are good replacements coming in for the Fighting Sioux in forwards Danny Kristo, Michael Cichy, Corbin Knight, Carter Rowney as well as defenseman Andrew MacWilliam. Goaltender Aaron Dell should challenge Brad Eidsness (24-12-4, 2.56 GAA and 906 SV%) for playing time.

4. Minnesota – Key loss Ryan Stoa (22g-22a-46pts) signed with the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL in the off season. Super sophomore Jordan Schroeder (13g-32a-45pts) returns for what will probably be his last season in the WCHA. Key new arrivals for the Gophers are forward Zach Budish and defensemen Nick Leddy and Seth Helgeson. Gopher fans are wondering which version of Alex Kangas is going to show up this season. Will it be the version that finished in the top half of the league (12-10-9 1.98 GAA .930 SV %) in goaltending or the mediocre one (17-11-6, 2.79 GAA .901 SV %) that played for the Gophers last season? If the Gophers are to contend, their defense and goaltending must improve. The Gophers also need to get tougher as last year’s team got pushed around all over the ice.

5. Minnesota Duluth – While this season’s version of the UMD Bulldogs might be a little young and minus some solid players, the Bulldogs also return an exciting pair of forwards named Connolly. No, they are not related: Mike Connolly (13g-29a-42pts) and Jack Connolly (10-19-29). Add to the mix Justin Fontaine who is an offensively gifted forward (15g-33-48pts). I have been told by UMD fans that Brady “Peanut Butter and Jelly” Hjelle (1-0-0, 1.50 GAA .941 SV %) is the second coming of Alex Stalock. Expect UMD to play very physical and be responsible defense in their end of the ice. Coming in for the Bulldogs this season is monster defenseman Dylan Olsen from Camrose Kodiaks of the AJHL who also played on the Canadian U18 team in Fargo this past spring. I was very impressed with his game and he skates pretty well for a big guy. Olson will probably have a pretty big impact on the blue line for the Bulldogs this season.

6. St. Cloud State – Garrett Roe (17g-3a1-48pts) and Ryan Lasch (18g-24a-42pts) lead the SCSU offense, while Garrett Raboin (10g-23-33pts) leads the Huskies on the blue line. Last season the Huskies 18-17-3 including a horrible 0-6-0 record against the Gophers who ended the Huskies season in the WCHA playoffs. Key additions for the Huskies: Goalie Mike Lee, Forward Ben Hanowski, Defensemen Taylor Johnson, David Eddy. Rookie Goalie Mike Lee is highly regarded and expected to take the reins in net for the Huskies if Dan Dunn (2-4-1, 2.60 GAA and .904 SV %) stumbles.

7. Colorado College – C.C. has had a horrible off season. First they lost their top goalie Richard Bachman (14-11-10, 2.63 GAA and .914 SV %) to the Dallas Stars and then lost two of their top recruits John Moore to the NHL and Colton St. Clair to UND. The good news for C.C. is that Bill Sweatt (12g-11a-23pts) decided to come back to finish school and not sign a professional contract. The Tigers lost solid players Chad Rau (18g19a-37pts) and Eric Walsky (12g-24a-36pts) to graduation.

8. Minnesota State-Mankato – The good news is that the Mavericks return five of their top six scorers: sophomore forward Mike Louwerse (13-13–26), juniors defenseman Kurt Davis (6-25–31) and forward Rylan Galiardi (8-20-28), and seniors forwards Kael Mouillierat (17-13–30), and Geoff Irwin (12-16-28). The bad news is that the Mavericks lose goaltenders Mike Zacharias (14-14-6, 2.00 GAA and .911 SV %) and Dan Tormey (1-3-0 3.87 GAA and .878 SV %) as well as forwards Mick Berge (7g-21a-31pts) and Trevor Bruess (12g-5-17pts). More bad news: the Mavericks have three inexperienced goaltenders, none who have played in a division one college hockey game, competing for the starting goaltending job.

9. Alaska Anchorage – I am going to go out on a limb and say this year’s UAA team is not going to finish in the basement of the WCHA. However, I don’t see the Seawolves finishing any higher than the eighth or ninth spot either. Sure UAA was a better team last season than they were the previous three seasons when they finished in the ninth spot as opposed to their customary tenth position. Many took notice when the Seawolves swept cross-state rival University of Alaska Fairbanks who was the fourth place team in the CCHA. That says a lot about the strength WCHA in comparison to the CCHA and how our mediocre teams can beat the fourth place team in the CCHA. That being said, I don’t expect the UAA Seawolves to do much at all in the WCHA this season. Nothing personal, now go ahead and prove me wrong Seawolves. Key returnees for UAA are senior forwards Josh Lunden (14g-6a-20pts) and Kevin Clark (13g-18a-31pts) and junior Tommy Grant (15g-10a-25pts). In net the Seawolves have a two headed monster with unimpressive numbers, Bryce Christenson (8-8-4, 2.60 GAA and .893 SV %) and John Olthuis (6-9-1 3.43 GAA and .873 SV %).

10. Michigan Tech – The good news: the Michigan Tech Huskies will enter the 2009-10 season with three-fourths of their scoring offense returning from a the 2008-2009 season. They also return an experienced blue line as six of their nine defenders return from last season’s team. The Huskies also return sophomore goalie Josh Robinson who played in 20 games last season and had a 4-8-2, 3.09 GAA and a .889 SV %. Senior captain Malcolm Gwilliam (2g-5a-7pts) returns to the Huskies line up after suffering a stroke nine games into last season. Senior Drew Dobson (5g-14a-19pts) is a talented player that can play both forward and defense. The bad news: Michigan Tech will be much younger than last season with freshmen and sophomores accounting for 17 of the 27 players on the roster.

Haron Lagat 5th in New York Mile

Kenyan Haron Lagat of Lubbock, Texas, who won the Grandma’s Minnesota Mile two weeks ago in Duluth, was fifth in Sunday’s 29th Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City. Great Britain’s Andy Baddeley, 27, led the men’s race in 3 minutes, 51.8 seconds to earn $5,000, while U.S. Olympian Bernard Lagat, 34, was fourth in 3:52.7 and Haron Lagat, 26, who is not related, finished in 3:53.8 to win $1,000. Haron Lagat ran 3:59.69 in Duluth to win $2,000.

American Shannon Rowbury of San Francisco was the women’s winner in 4:23.3. The top 15 men broke the four-minute barrier.

More than 3,700 runners competed in various heats, and more than $30,000 in prize money was awarded.

Raymond, Again, in Shootout

Winger Mason Raymond scored his second shootout winner of the week Saturday night as Vancovuer defeated Calgary 2-1 in an NHL preseason game in Calgary. The Canucks remain unbeaten in the exhibition season at 7-0-1.

Raymond’s shootout highlight is about 6:25 into this clip if you want to watch

Here’s some info from the Canucks Web site:

No. 1 Star

Mason Raymond

The Alberta native wowed the Calgary crowd with a sleek shootout goal that stood as the game-winner. 0G, 0A, 0P (SO game-winner)

Mason Raymond scored the shootout game-winning goal to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames Saturday night at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Sergei Shirokov, Ryan Kesler, Mikael Samuelsson and Alex Edler all came up short in the shootout and four Calgary shooters were unable to beat Roberto Luongo, setting the stage for Raymond’s game-winner.

Heading in with a head of steam, Raymond showed backhand before slamming on the breaks just in front of Miikka Kiprusoff and putting the puck in on the forehand to improve Vancouver’s pre-season record to 7-0-1.

Vancouver continues its come-from-behind ways with this being the fourth consecutive contest the team has trailed at one point in the game only to rally and steal at least one point.

This was also the third time in four games the Canucks have forced a shootout with Vancouver winning on all three occasions.

Saturday night’s tilt was the second-to-last pre-season game for the Canucks, who face the Edmonton Oilers Sunday evening. There are still quite a few kinks to be worked out, but Vancouver was still far from playing its regular line-up on this night.

Cody Hodgson, Mario Bliznak, Michael Grabner, Tanner Glass and Shirokov skated up front, while Mike Funk worked into the scheme of things on defense. Hodgson and Shirokov had their moments on offence, the latter picked up an assist on Vancouver’s only regulation goal.