Cynthia Brockman

Skinnyski.com reported Monday on Sunday’s passing of endurance athlete Cindy Brockman, 44, of Maplewood, Minn. She was married to two-time U.S. Olympic Nordic skier John Brochman of Stillwater, Minn.

From Skinnyski: Cynthia Brochman Passes Away

December 28, 2009
Cindy Brochman, running star, snowshoer and wife of Olympian Kevin Brochman, passed away on Sunday morning after a long battle with cancer. A memorial will be held the second weekend in January, details to follow.
Related:
CaringBridge: Cynthia Brochman
Running Minnesota Profile

Raymond: An NHL Hat Trick

    What did former Minnesota Duluth winger Mason Raymond do Sunday night — just earn his first three-goal NHL game in Vancouver’s 5-1 road win over Calgary, and it was a natural hat trick. Game video highlights are here. And a game summary is here.

     Midway through the season Raymond has 29 points, 17 goals and 12 assists in 39 games. His previous career high was last year’s total of 23 points (11-12-23) accumulated over 72 games. The speedy winger’s star keeps rising as he leads the Canucks in power play goals with eight and has recorded 12 points in his last nine games.

Here’s the game story courtesy of the Canadian Press:

CALGARY — Mason Raymond’s first career three-goal game wasn’t a thing of beauty, but got the job done for the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.

The Canucks winger had a natural hat trick as Vancouver roared back from an early 1-0 deficit to rout the Calgary Flames 5-1.

Raymond put the Canucks ahead 3-1 at 18:50 of the first period but it was his goal just 34 seconds later stunned the sell-out crowd of 19,289.

From the boards at centre ice, Raymond flipped the puck high into the air on a dump in. Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff never saw it and had it bounce off his side and in.

"I got it up high and when it was in mid-air, I looked at Kipper and I knew he didn’t see it. I thought to myself, this has a chance," said Raymond. "I’m still not exactly sure how it went in but I’ll take it."

After yielding four goals on 13 shots in the opening 20 minutes, Kiprusoff was pulled by Brent Sutter to start the second period.

Raymond completed the scoring at 12:31 of the second against Curtis McElhinney, wiring a one-timer into the open side after a hard cross-ice pass from Alexander Edler.

The big night for the 24-year-old native of nearby Cochrane, Alta., came in front of numerous friends and family including his parents and grandparents.

"It’s always fun to do it in front of friends and family," Raymond said. "I grew up watching Calgary so you always remember coming to this rink and doing things here so that’s exciting. This one will be one I’ll remember for sure."

Raymond is enjoying a breakout season in his third year in the NHL. Earlier in the month, he eclipsed his career high of 11 goals in a season set last year. He now sits second on the club with 17 goals, just one behind Henrik Sedin.

Kyle Wellwood and Sedin also scored for Vancouver (23-16-0), playing the first of a four-game road trip which comes on the heels of a 6-2 homestand. Their seventh win in nine games leapfrogged the Canucks past Calgary (20-12-5) and into seventh place in the Western Conference.

"We haven’t been strong for five, six, or seven games in a row together and we know that it’s important for our club to start doing that," said Roberto Luongo, who had 29 stops. "Right now, we’ve played three pretty good games in a row and we want to keep it going."

In contrast to the streaking Canucks, the struggling Flames are headed the other direction.

With just one victory in their last seven (1-4-2), the Flames suddenly find themselves clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, just one point up on the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars.

"You never want to say that as a team you got outcompeted and outworked and we did tonight," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla, Calgary’s lone goal scorer with his 20th.

"They came back and got two quick ones but even at 2-1, even 3-1, we can’t let that happen at home in the first period," Iginla said. "We, as players, it’s not good enough at home, it’s not good enough anywhere. We’re definitely embarrassed by that game."

The Flames dressing room remained closed for an extended time after the game. Flames head coach Brent Sutter also took a significantly longer time than usual before finally meeting with the media.

"I have a few concerns that are certainly very noticeable and you can’t hide it," said Sutter.

After a tough home ice loss, Sutter was asked if he was happy to be playing again Monday night with the Flames in Edmonton to battle the Oilers.

"Absolutely. But that being said, there are certainly some things that in the next 24 hours have to change if we want to even have a chance tomorrow night."

Asked to identify his biggest areas of concerns, Sutter fired back with a stern, "none of your business."

However, the first-year Flames coach did shed some light on what it wasn’t, and that’s the new system that the players have been learning.

"It’s got absolutely nothing to do with systems, absolutely nothing. It’s other things that we have to deal with and we’re going to. Whether it’s liked or not, it’s going to be dealt with," Sutter said.

Kiprusoff’s early exit marked just the second time he had been pulled by Sutter. The other time was Nov. 19, when the 33-year-old Finn surrendered six goals over the first two periods.

In 14 starts since that Blackhawks game, Kiprusoff had been Calgary’s best player, going 7-4-3 with a 1.55 goals-against average. The win-loss record might have been better with more offensive support — the Flames have scored just 20 goals in the past 11 games.

"The guard has dropped, the foot has gone off the pedal, and now we’re trying to find our way again," said Sutter.

"But they know what’s out there because they’ve shown and proven that they can do it."

College Hockey: Nearly Back

     Don’t look now, but college hockey is about ready to resume after a two-week holiday break. Games begin Tuesday — and Minnesota Duluth is back Saturday — nearly all of the action is in tournament play. College Hockey News has been previewing the games at their Web site here. Here is the College Hockey News capsule on the Catamount Cup in Burlington, Vt., which includes the Bulldogs. UMD is back at practice Monday:

Catamount Cup (Burlington, Vt.)
Saturday: Mercyhurst (9-9-2, 9-5-2 AH) vs. Minnesota Duluth (11-6-1, 8-5-1 WCHA), 3 p.m.
Alabama-Huntsville (4-9-1, 1-4-1 CHA) at Vermont (8-6-2, 4-5-2 HE), 6 p.m.

Sunday Games: Third-place, 3 p.m.; championship, 6 p.m.

Mercyhurst is on a roll, unbeaten in eight straight games (7-0-1) after starting the season off 2-9-1, including fout losses outside of Atlantic Hockey. The Lakers haven’t won outside the conference in over a year, since knocking off Rensselaer and Princeton to claim the RPI Holiday Tournament crown last season.

Vermont, a Frozen Four entrant last season, hasn’t been spectacular, but hasn’t been bad either. The Catamounts have a few ugly one-sided losses, but they are to quality teams like Boston College and Massachusetts, and they haven’t been swept in a weekend series. Throw in the home-ice advantage and a title wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility.

Minnesota Duluth, on the other hand, is having a fine season. Other than a rough weekend in St. Cloud and a loss to Michigan Tech, there’s not too much to find fault with on the Bulldogs’ record. Holding their own in the always difficult WCHA, the pickings in Burlington should be just to Duluth’s liking.

The Alabama-Huntsville Chargers, meanwhile, snapped an eight-game losing streak with a three-point weekend in Pittsburgh against Robert Morris the last time they were out, but been off for almost a full month. Besides the Roberrt Morris weekend, a feel-good non-conference win over Notre Dame and a weekend sweep at Air Force have been the only bright spots for UAH.

Prediction: Mercyhurst hasn’t faced a team like Duluth during their streak – the Bulldogs will end it and take the title over the Catamounts.

College Hockey: Nearly

 

 

Catamount Cup (Burlington, VT)
Mercyhurst (9-9-2, 9-5-2 AH) vs. Minnesota-Duluth (11-6-1, 8-5-1 WCHA)
Alabama-Huntsville (4-9-1, 1-4-1 CHA) at Vermont (8-6-2, 4-5-2 HE)
Mercyhurst is on a roll, unbeaten in eight straight games (7-0-1) after starting the season off 2-9-1, including 4 losses outside of Atlantic Hockey. The Lakers haven’t won outside the conference in over a year, since knocking off Rensselaer and Princeton to claim the RPI Holiday Tournament crown last season.

Vermont hasn’t been spectacular, but hasn’t been bad either. The Catamounts got a few ugly one-sided losses, but they are to quality teams like BC and UMass, and they haven’t been swept in a weekend series. Throw in the home-ice advantage and a title wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility.

Minnesota-Duluth, on the other hand, is having a fine season. Other than a rough weekend in St. Cloud and a loss to Michigan Tech, there’s not too much to find fault with on the Bulldogs’ record thus far. Holding their own in the always difficult WCHA, the pickings in Burlington should be just to Duluth’s liking.

The Chargers, meanwhile, snapped an eight-game losing streak with a three-point weekend in Pittsburgh against Robert Morris the last time they were out, but they will have been off for almost a full month by the time they take on Vermont. Besides the RMU weekend, a feel-good non-conference win over Notre Dame
 

Final: USA 3, Switzerland 0

    Boston College’s Chris Kreider scored in the second period, and Denver defenseman Matt Donovan and AJ Jenks scored in the third in Sunday’s World Junior Championships game in Saskatoon, to give the United States a 3-0 win over Switzerland. Jack Campbell of the U.S. Under-18 team earmed the shutout. The Americans leds in shots on goal 49-22.

     Next, the USA (2-0) plays Latvia at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Canada (1-0) plays Switzerland on Monday.

     A press release from USA Hockey:

SASKATOON, Sask. – Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich.) stopped all 22 shots faced, as the U.S. National Junior Team shut out Switzerland, 3-0, in its second game of the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. The U.S. improved its overall record to 2-0-0-0, with two games remaining in the tournament’s preliminary round.

"I thought we stuck to our game plan and eventually wore them down," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "Both goaltenders played extremely well. I thought Jack really made some key saves in the first period to keep the game scoreless."

Campbell started strong between the pipes, turning aside a a pair of Swiss breakaway attempts and helping Team USA kill a two-man disadvantage in the opening frame.

The U.S. grabbed a 1-0 lead six minutes into the second period on its first power play of the game. Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass./Boston College) redirected a Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich.) slap shot under Swiss goalie Benjamin Conz for his first tally of the tournament.

Team USA sealed its victory with a pair of third period goals. Matt Donovan (Edmond, Okla./Univ. of Denver) scored his second of the tournament with seven-and-a-half minutes remaining after collecting a pass from Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass.) and beating Conz low to the stick side. AJ Jenks‘ (Wolverine Lake, Mich.) tally four minutes later completed the scoring.

Next action for Team USA comes Tuesday (Dec. 29) at 3 p.m. CST against Latvia. The game can be seen live in the U.S. on the NHL Network. It will also be streamed live in the U.S. on FASTHockey.com.

Chris Kreider (20) celebrates a first-period goal

Recap of U.S. Junior Opener

      Here’s a story courtesy of Sunday’s Saskatoon News of Canwest Publishing on the United States beating Slovakia 7-3 Saturday to open the World Junior Championships in Saskatchewan. The Americans play Switzerland at 3 p.m. Sunday:

Darren Zary, Canwest News Service
SASKATOON – Out to avenge a quarterfinal loss to Slovakia a year ago, the United States downed the Slovaks 7-3 in a rough-and-tumble 2010 IIHF world junior hockey championship round-robin contest Saturday night before 11,318 fans at Credit Union Centre.

Trailing 2-0 while playing short-handed early in the game, the Americans exploded for four unanswered goals on their way to victory.

John Carlson, Jeremy Morin, Derek Stepan, Matt Donovan, Danny Kristo, Jordan Stroeder and Jerry D’Amigo scored for the Americans, who trailed 2-1 after the opening frame, but bounced back for a 5-2 lead after two periods.

Did the Slovaks catch the Americans off guard?

"A little bit," said D’Amigo, named player of the game for Team USA. "We battled back from those two penalties at the beginning. It was harder to fight back there, but we showed some character, scored a couple of quick ones full-strength. It shows a lot about our team, battling back with the little amount of time we’ve been together."

Jakub Gasparovic and Marin Bakos gave Slovakia an early 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of power-play goals, the second coming with a two-man advantage.

Richard Panik had the other goal, also on a power play, for Slovakia, which was outshot 46-20.

Mike Lee made 17 saves for the Americans. Marek Ciliak stopped 39 shots in the Slovakia net.

Notes: Slovak defenceman Martin Stajnoch was taken to the hospital by ambulance following an early collision with Tyler Johnson of the United States. Johnson was given a five-minute major for high-sticking and a game misconduct … Team USA returns to action Sunday against Switzerland. Slovakia meets Latvia in Sunday’s late game in Saskatoon.

Team USA won its first game of the World Junior Championship for the third straight year and sixth time in seven years … The 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship runs Dec. 26 – Jan. 5 in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask. The NHL Network (U.S.) and FASTHockey.com will air every U.S. game live from Saskatoon … For complete results and stats from the tournament, visit IIHF.com

GAME SUMMARY

USA 1 – 4 – 2 – 7
SVK 2 – 1 – 0 – 3

First Period – Scoring: 1, SVK, Gasparovic (Illo), 2:15 (pp); 2, SVK Bakos (Illo, Marincin), 5:33 (pp2); 3, USA, Carlson (Stepan), 9:34. Penalties: USA, Johnson (high-sticking major, game misconduct), 2:05; USA, Walker (high-sticking), 5:18; SVK, Jankovic (delay of game), 12:07; USA, Team (too many men), 19:00.

Second Period – Scoring: 4, USA, Morin (unassisted), 2:50; 5, USA, D’Amigo (Carlson, Stefan), 5:39; 6, USA, Donovan (Kreider, Fowler), 6:36 (pp); 7, SVK, Panik (Siska, Viedensky), 13:14 (pp); 8, USA, Kristo (Stepan, D’Amigo), 13:54. Penalties: SVK, Jabornik (interference), 6:22. USA, Jenks (cross-checking), 9:46; SVK, Illo (tripping), 9:53; USA, Gardiner (hooking), 11:22; USA, Zucker (hooking), 15:06; SVK, Stastny (roughing), 15:06.

Third Period – Scoring: 9, USA, Schroeder (Palmieri), :58; 10, USA, D’Amigo (Kristo), 6:34. Penalties: SVK, Illo (hooking), 7:07; SVK, Hrasko (slashing), 8:20; SVK, Illo (slashing), 11:57, SVK, Jabornik (cross-checking), 16:00.

Shots by Period 
USA 11 16 19– 46
SVK      9 7 4– 20

Goaltenders l
USA, Lee 60:00     20-17
SVK, Ciliak 60:00  46-39

Power Play: USA 1-6; SVK 3-5
Penalties: USA 7-35; SVK 8-16

Final: USA 7, Slovakia 3

     Jordan Schroeder, Danny Kristo, Matt Donovan and Derek Stepan — all from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association — scored goals Saturday night as the United States opened the World Junior Championships with a 7-3 win over Slovakia in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

     Schroeder (Minnesota), Kristo (North Dakota) and Donovan (Denver) and Stepan (Wisconsin) helped the Americans rally from a 2-0 first-period deficit and outshoot Slovakia 46-20.

     St. Cloud State goalie Mike Lee earned the victory. Slovakia led 2-1 after one period. Also scoring for the Americans were Jerry D’Amigo of Rensselaer Polytechnic and Jeremy Morin of the Kitchener Rangers.

     The U.S. plays Switzerland at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Canada 16, Latvia 0

    Canada opened the World Junior Championships on Saturday afternoon with a, ummmm, rout of Latvia 16-0 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Here’s some information courtesy of The Sports Network:

Gabriel Bourque scored three goals and added four assists as defending champion Canada opened the 2010 World Junior Championships with a 16-0 rout of Latvia. Bourque’s seven point outburst tied Canada’s record for scoring in a world junior game.  The score represented the largest shutout victory ever for Canda at the tournament. Canada led in shots on goal 67-10.

Bourque scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal just 36 seconds into the game. Late in the third period, when his pursuit of the scoring mark was the only drama left, Bourque flipped a shot from the side of the net that bounced off the skate of Latvian defenceman Ralfs Freibergs and into the net.

It was that kind of day for Bourque and Team Canada.

"It feels pretty good," Bourque told TSN after the game. "It was just the first game of the tournament and I don’t want to go too high. It’s just the first game. I’m excited but I have to focus on the next game."

The seven points put Bourque in company with Mike Cammalleri and Dave Andreychuk. His linemates, Brandon Kozun and Patrice Cormier, had five points each.

U.S. Junior Video Feed

USA Hockey announced Saturday an agreement with FASTHockey.com, a link is here to stream all Team USA games live at the 2010 International Ice Hockey World Junior Championship for viewers in the United States on a pay-per-view basis. Games are also on the NHL Network. The American team opens play at 7 p.m. Saturday against Slovakia.

Also, Derek Stepan (Hastings, Minn./Univ. of Wisconsin) was named the captain of Team USA, and will be joined by alternate captains John Carlson (Colonia, N.J.), Jordan Schroeder (Prior Lake, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota) and David Warsofsky (Marshfield, Mass./Boston University).

Here’s the rest of the U.S. schedule:

Date Opponent Location

Time

Sat., Dec. 26 Slovakia Saskatoon 7 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 27 Switzerland Saskatoon 3 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 29 Latvia Saskatoon 3 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 31 Canada Saskatoon 7 pm.
Sat., Jan. 2 Quarterfinals Saskatoon TBD
Sun., Jan. 3 Semifinals Saskatoon TBD
Tues., Jan. 5 Bronze-Medal Game Saskatoon 3 p.m.
  Gold-Medal Game Saskatoon 7 p.m.

 

World Juniors: U.S. Opens Saturday

     This release from USA Hockey on the opening of the World Junior Championships on Saturday in Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Americans face Slovakia in the first game at 7 p.m. on the NHL Network. A USA Hockey Live Blog will be here. U.S. coach Dean Blais discusses his roster here. And a story on defending champion Canada is in the Regina Leader-Post here.

By Cameron Eickmeyer
USAHockey.com

It’s a new tournament with new teams and players, but when the U.S. Junior Team squares off against Slovakia on Saturday in the opening game of the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship, a memory will be hanging over some of the American players.

Danny Kristo, Jordan Schroeder and Tyler Johnson were each members of the 2009 U.S. squad that lost to Slovakia, 5-3, in the quarterfinals in one of the biggest upsets in the recent tournament history.

“Last year’s game is always in the back of your mind,” said Kristo, a North Dakota freshman forward. “But it’s a new (U.S.) team and they’re a new team. We’re going to try to let that go and then focus on one game at a time and on the task at hand.”

The task for Team USA will be to start with a victory over what is sure to be an inspired Slovakian team. Kristo said a positive start in this tournament is vital if Team USA is to return to the medal stand for the first time since 2007.

“Getting off on the right foot is definitely an important part of this tournament,” he said. “If we don’t come to play, it’s not going to happen.”

Schroeder, the only two-time veteran of this tournament, said his first opponent conjures up memories of the heart-wrenching defeat in Ottawa.

“Obviously it’s always there,” said Schroeder, a University of Minnesota forward. “But it’s pretty much a whole new team.”

Schroeder and Kristo pointed out the vast changes every team in the event goes through each season, and said dwelling on previous years’ outcomes accomplishes little.

“There can be a ton (of differences),” Schroeder said. “Different ages, players develop over a year and might be better than last year.

“You never know what you’re going to face,” he added.

Team USA would be wise to remember the lesson learned in its last game against Slovakia, which Kristo said wouldn’t be a problem with veterans of that game in the locker room.

“We’re not going to let that happen again, where we come in with the mentality that it’s going to be an easy game,” he said. “On any given game in this tournament any team can beat anyone.”

Defeating Slovakia and starting the tournament on a positive note is an all important first step for Team USA if it is to win a medal. Schroeder will certainly be in the mix for the U.S. as he seeks his first medal in three tries.

“It would mean the world to me and for this team,” he said.