Archive for January, 2009

rink rankings

Posted in Uncategorized on January 29, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

I’m going to introduce a two-part blog post here today with the bottom half of my own personal rink rankings.  This is going to be a list of my favorite rinks that we play in Hockey East, along with some of the more notable rinks we have played in during my time at Northeastern.  A lot of factors go in to whether or not I like a rink.  Crowd plays a big role in it, I love playing in a visiting rink where there is a lot of energy and the fans get into it, especially when they get on the goalie, I love that.  Also whether or not I play well and we win there has a little something to do with it.  I will include our record in that rink over the past 3 years at the end of each recap.  So here goes #’s 15-8:

#15 – Schneider Arena Providence College – Definitely not one of my favorite rinks to play in.  Small crowds, small ice sheet, low ceiling, tough place to go play in, everything happens quickly in this rink.  I will say this if they were able to sell that rink out it would be extremely intimidating to play there the noise that could be created would be deafening.  Past 3 years 2-2-1

#14 – Lawler Arena Merrimack College – Much like Providence in that there are not many fans, very small and not a place that many players enjoy going to play at.  I did get my first career shutout here though.  Past 3 years 3-1

#13 – Tsongas Arena UMass Lowell – Lot of empty seats in this big rink making for a poor atmosphere although they do have great lighting which is always a plus in my books.  Also love the band at Lowell.  Past 3 years 2-2

#12 – Sullivan Arena Alaska Anchorage – Played here at the beginning of the season in their tournament and it’s not a bad place to play.  Not too many students were at the game which was disappointing but I think that would probably be different if it were a conference rival in town.  Past 3 years 1-1

#11 – TD Banknorth Garden – This is one that has the opportunity to move up on the list as every beanpot game we have played in the past two years as been at the 5 o’clock time slot which has left a lot of yellow and black seats left unattended at the home of the Bruins.  Like I said it could move up after the next two weeks.  Past 3 years 1-3

#10 –  Conte Forum Boston College – Made my first career start here and that was the only time that we have played there when there has been a significant student section.  The other times we have played there have been on Thanksgiving or on Spring Break when we played them in the playoffs 2 seasons ago, so I’ll cut them some slack on that aspect.  Did have two exciting overtime wins there last year.  Past 3 years 2-3

#9 – Kohl Center Wisconsin – Home of the Badger Classic Christmas tournament that we participated in last year.  A lot of us were hoping we would get to play Wisconsin but it never materialized leaving us to play in front of family and friends.  In staying and watching one of their games though the students were out in full force and create a special atmosphere in the 15,000 seat rink.  Past 3 years 2-0

#8 – Mullins Center UMass – Big olympic sized rink that I have always enjoyed playing on.  Students can get a little rowdy here I can remember 2 years ago there was a chant in reference to former captain Mike Morris’ mom.  They also have a nice big video screen on the ends which is a bonus feature.  Never won a game here but games have always been close.  Past 3 years 0-3

There you have the first half of my list of favorite rinks, I’m not sure when I will get to the next half in and around the game tomorrow night and beanpot monday but I’ll try and squeeze it in.

life of a college hockey player

Posted in Uncategorized on January 28, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

One of my goals for this blog is to be able to give readers a sense of what it’s like to play hockey at the college level.  I often get questions pertaining to how we can go on road trips, practice, work out, and still have time to do school work on top of it all.  It is tough and unless you are good at budgeting your time it can all catch up to you pretty quick. 

A lot of the players will try and have a majority of their classes situated on the monday, wednesday, thursday rotation.  We tend to miss a lot of friday classes due to road trips and most guys don’t like classes on game day anyways.  So that means those three days are generally the longest days of the week.  For myself, a typical monday for me would be 3 classes from 9:15 to 1:25, team workout at 1:30, video at the rink a little after 2 and on the ice by 2:45.  Practice usually runs for an hour and a half and after practice stretching, extra video, etc. we usually get out of the rink by 5:30.  Then for some it’s off to study hall, others to the cafeteria for dinner, while others will go back to their rooms to make food.  The evening is supposed to be time for homework, but after a day like that it’s tough not to want to relax for a little while.  A lot of the guys on the team like to play xbox and NHL 09 is number one on the list of games.  Who the best player on the team is up for debate, I am not one to play so I can only go on what I hear that Kraemer and Ginand are the best.  I live with Driscoll, Kraemer, and Chisolm and Chis would not be happy if I didn’t mention the fact that he has beat both Ginand and Kraemer even though he doesn’t play that often.  Anyways a day like that will take a lot of energy out of you and after a few months it takes a toll on the body.  The key is to be able to budget your time and getting sufficient rest.  Monday is generally the toughest day of the week in terms of workouts and practice, we only workout on mondays and wednesdays.  Friday and Saturday are game days and then Sundays are our day off to recooperate and start it all over again.  When we go on road trips to places like Maine or Vermont we will leave on the Thursday for a Friday game, so we do miss some school.  Professor’s are always good with us missing class but it’s not easy to always have to catch up on work missed. 

That’s all for now talk to you later in the week.

weekend wrap

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

Big 4 point weekend for us as we beat Providence at home 6-3 on saturday night at Matthews.  Ryan Ginand registered a hat trick, you only get a small glimpse of what he can do with his hands in a game but he can do some impressive things with the puck.  You can hear the Doghouse buzz when he picks up behind the net and starts out on one of his end to end rushes.  Taking a look at the hockey east standings we are still in first place but there a few teams right on our heals who are playing extremely well right now in BU and Vermont.  Should be a great race till the end. 

On another note, did anyone catch the NHL All-Star game last night?  I watched the whole game, extremely slow paced game with not much effort being exerted but still a decent show for the fans.  I would prefer a baseball style all-star game where something was on the line, however hockey is more of a contact game with increased chance of injuries in a game where the players were giving it there all.  Alexei Kovalev was named MVP after scoring 2 beautiful breakaway goals along with the shootout winner as the Eastern Conference defeated the West 12-11.

friday night

Posted in Uncategorized on January 24, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

Solid win last night for the guys as we played a very sound road game.  Didn’t give up many chances, buried the opportunities we got and walked out of a very tough rink to play in with the two points.  A little rough stuff at the end of the game should make for an interesting night tonight at Matthews.  Last weekend against Vermont we won the friday night game and then sat back saturday, hopefully we learned our lesson and will come out tonight with the same purpose we had yesterday.  Should be a good one.

weekend series vs providence

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

Leaving later on today for Schneider Arena and the start of a home and home series with the Friars.  They have been on a roll as of late and it should be a great series.  The guys are ready to go after a good week of practice, look for recaps following the games.

dropping the gloves in hockey

Posted in Uncategorized on January 22, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

Every once in a while there will be a hot topic in hockey that I will throw my two cents in on, and while I had heard about this story before, I was sent this link by Professor Matson http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/sports/hockey/20hockey.html. It is the story of a 21 year old, Don Sanderson, playing amateur hockey in Ontario.  He died after being in a coma for three weeks as a result of a fight between he and another player in which his head hit the ice.  This has sparked great debate among all levels of hockey and throughout the media as to whether or not fighting should be permitted.  I have to chuckle to myself sometimes when I hear students around campus or other fans of college hockey comment on the “fights” during the game on the weekend.  In college hockey you are not allowed to fight and pushing and shoving with your gloves and a full face mask on does not constitute a fight.  I recently attended a New Jersey Devils game in New Jersey versus their arch-rival, the Rangers with my girlfriend.  In the opening minutes two of the players squared off, throwing their gloves to the side and circling each other preparing to duke it out, to the horror of my girlfriend who had never seen such a thing.  Not one person in that rink was sitting down, nor were they for the other three fights that occurred during the game.  Fighting in hockey is something that is part of the game.  Every team has their “fighter” who goes out when applicable to fight for many different reasons, to get his team some momentum, to energize the crowd, or to protect one of his teammates that might have been picked on.  It is the code of the game, and everyone adheres to it with no objections.  There is no love lost between the two combatants, they are merely doing the job that they are paid to do.  Unfortunately, at the end Don Sanderson’s fight he ended up hitting his head on the ice which resulted in his death.  This event should be used to look at possible ways of preventing it in the future, maybe stopping a fight if a players helmet comes off.  But to abolish fighting completely would be a drastic over reaction to something that has been part of the game since it was born.

inauguration of barack obama

Posted in Uncategorized on January 20, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

A little off topic for today but a historic event is taking place in the inauguration of Barack Obama.  I’m sitting in class watching with everyone else on the big screen and I’ll give you some of my thoughts as the proceedings continue.

11:47 a.m. – this is my first time watching an American inauguration of a President, heck I’m from Canada and I’ve ever seen a Canadian inauguration before, do they have one?

11:48 a.m. – the guy doing the introductions of all the important people here makes it sounds like he is announcing the starting line-ups for the Super Bowl, “Starting at President, Barack H. Obama!”

11:52 a.m. – what is on Aretha Franklin’s head? that bow belongs on a present not on her head, interesting rendition of Let Freedom Reign

11:55 a.m. – it is a sight to see all those people gathered in one place to celebrate this historic event, impressive show of national pride

11:57 a.m. – and Joe Biden is sworn in looking very confident and having practiced the oath many times, I wonder if anyone has ever screwed it up

12:02 p.m. – listening to a composition of music by someone, nice job, Obama’s kids look like they are a little restless

12:03 p.m. – and the moment everyone is waiting for, he jumped the gun a little bit on that one, settle down Barack, and now he struggles a little bit to get the next part down, tough start but recovered nicely, I guess it does happen!

12:05 p.m. – and it’s over, here comes Barack to address the people

12:06 p.m. – I wish he would have started his address by poking fun at himself for getting through the oath

12:07 p.m. – very little applause when he thanks George W. I wonder what he is thinking at this moment, probably somewhere along the lines of “thank goodness I’m done when is the next flight to Texas?”

12:13 p.m. – Barack is giving a passionate and sometimes emphatic speech about what the country needs to do and on and on, Bill Clinton sighting on camera during the address, I should mention we are watching the MSNBC feed

12:19 p.m. – I’m not one to really keep tabs on politics or world events so everything Barack is talking about sounds good to me, the world should be a happy place by the time he is done

12:26 p.m. – the newly appointed President has just finished his speech, nicely done very Obama like speech.  Now we have a poet from Yale reciting a poem about new beginnings

12:29 p.m. – my interest has definitely gone downhill with the poet, we need some excitement those people are out there freezing and are stuck with a poem

12:39 p.m. – took a break in class to discuss some things but we could see everyone singing the national anthem.  I have been in a sports stadium with 18,000 people singing the Canadian national anthem and it is a special feeling, to have millions doing it at once would be something else.

And that’s all for me today, back to hockey talk later this week!