Archive for April, 2009

blog thoughts

Posted in Uncategorized on April 13, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

Well I guess this will officially be my last blogging assignment for my online journalism class.  This is my opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings about my first blogging experience this semester.

When I started out with the blog I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, what I should write about, how to write for a blog, what I was going to say and if anybody would read it.  So I decided to write about what I know best, hockey, and focus it on our team at Northeastern and hopefully draw fans to it by giving them an inside look at what it’s like to play college hockey.  From there I just wrote about what I thought people would find interesting.  Sometimes it was tough to come up with something to write, I didn’t just want to write about the games all the time.  I was a little caught off guard by how many people started to read my blog.  It got linked by a couple of college hockey websites and I guess it started to spread and before long I was getting an average of about 2-3 hundred people a day.  So thanks to everyone that has read and continues to read it because it gives me a little reminder when I haven’t written something in a while that people do come to read it.  I have really appreciated all the comments that have come in over the last few months.  I think one of the things that worked for me first was the rink rankings I did during the first few weeks.  That was probably the most fun I had writing any post, coming up with my favorite rinks in college hockey.  The thing I probably found most difficult was writing after a tough loss, probably the hardest were losing to BC on the last day of the year and the Cornell game.  Those were the times that I did not want to write about the games but I knew that I had to.

As I’ve stated before I intend to continue writing on my experiences playing hockey, now in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.  Now that I’m not in school I still want to find a way to keep my writing skills sharp and this is a great way to do it.  It’s not always grammatically correct or perfect writing but at least I am still writing.  So hopefully the readers stick around for more In the Crease with Thiess.

trip to DC

Posted in Uncategorized on April 13, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

Well I’m back in Wilkes Barre and after suiting up last night for the first time in pro hockey, albeit just backing up we have the day off and I have some time to reflect on my trip to Washington, D.C. for the Hobey Baker award ceremonies.

I flew in to Washinton on Thursday night and upon my arrival a Lincoln car was awaiting me at the airport to take me to my downtown hotel.  I got in around 8 and quickly changed and headed to the rink to catch the second semi-final game, BU versue Vermont.  What a game it was.  A great college hockey game that was back and forth with lead changes, big hits, great goals, and a BU comeback that would turn out to be the theme of the weekend.  My parents flew in that night as well to spend the weekend with me.  Friday morning we got up and met our host for the day from the Hobey Baker Committee, Joe.  We went down to the rink and met the other two candidates, Matt Gilroy and Colin Wilson and thier families.  Obviously we have a little hatred towards BU on the ice but off the ice hockey players are all generally good guys and they were no different.  We met in the rink with the ESPN tv crew who walked us through everything that was going to happen on the show that night.  We also met with the two tv personalities who were going to interview us that night to give them a feel for us as a family.  That was a surprise to my parents who did not really want to have anything to do with being on tv, so they were probably more nervous than I was but they did great!  After that we had some time off, and as we had never been to Washington before we walked over to the White House, only a couple blocks away.  It was a little smaller than what I had imagined but cool nonetheless.  That afternoon we had an autograph session with the three finalists at a restaurant close to the rink.  It was fun to be able to interact with the fans and the two other players signing different Hobey Baker memorabilia.  After that, a few more hours passed before it was time to head to the rink.  The actualy ceremony really went by quickly, from walking out of the penalty box for the introduction, to the interview, to the announcement.  It took place in the rink, and there were a couple thousand fans in attendance, helped by a large BU contingent.  I wasn’t expecting to win, it would have come as a complete surprise as I believe Matt Gilroy was the best player in college hockey this year, and congratulations to him, well deserved.  It was such a great experience, I did not leave empty handed as they had a framed picture of the three of us.  The Hobey Baker Committee did such a great job to make the weekend a memorably one and everything was done first class.  It is something that I will never forget and I’m glad that my parents got to be there to experience it with me.  I didn’t get a chance to stay for the final game, I was back in Wilkes Barre on Saturday, but watched the overtime and it was a fantastic finish, good for college hockey. 

Later on tonight I will have a recap of the semester of blogging, the last assignment we have for the class blog.

frozen four thoughts

Posted in Uncategorized on April 7, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

Before I head out to Washington DC on Thursday I thought I would offer some thoughts on the games being played this weekend.  Obviously you have the all hockey east match up featuring BU and Vermont, and then the two number 4 seeds facing off with Bemidji and Miami.  In the hockey east match up I think you have to go with BU.  There are a number of factors that lead me to believe this, the first one being this team seems to be on a mission to win a national championship.  The fact that Vermont has beaten them twice this year I think also plays into it, they are going to be ready for the Catamounts.  As for the second game I don’t know much about either team, but I would like to see Bemidji continue their run.  However I think that they kind of flew under the radar for their regional win, they are in the spotlight now and I think that play to their detriment.  I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to take in either of the semi-final games as I get in on Thursday night but it should be a great night of college hockey.

a whirlwind

Posted in Uncategorized on April 5, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

Well I finally have a little bit of time to sit down and write some thoughts from the last few days.  It’s been a whirlwind of events and I haven’t slept much, or stopped smiling over that period. 

A couple days after we lost our last game teams started approaching me and my agent about the possibility of leaving college to play professional hockey.  My first decision to make was whether or not I wanted to leave Northeastern.  This was a difficult one to make as I have been treated so well at Northeastern and have benefited from a great program, hockey and school.  However the more I thought about it the fact was the reason I came to Northeastern was the fact that I wanted to further my hockey career.  It has always been my goal and dream to play in the NHL and that was what the opportunity given to me at Northeastern enabled me to do.  So in thinking it over I felt it was time to make that next step in my hockey career, as tough as it may be to leave everything behind at school.  So once that decision was made it was time to decide what team was going to give me the best opportunity in their organization.  It really boiled down to two teams and Pittsburgh was the one that really came out as the one that really wanted me and would provide me a great opportunity to grow as a goaltender.  Everyone seems to ask why go there, they have Fleury and former BU goalie John Curry.  My response would be to say no team is going to sign a goalie with no NHL experience and say that they are going to be their #1 starter in the NHL.  There is going to be competition at every level, nothing is going to be handed to you.  In saying that Pittsburgh was the team that to me would give me the best opportunity to play in the American League and develop as a goalie.  I’m extremely excited and look forward to the challenge.  I am in Wilkes Barre Scranton right now, the home of the Penguins American Hockey League team.  I am here to practice and just experience what all goes on and how to live as a pro hockey player.  I am actually living with my Husky teammate right now, Joey Vitale which makes the transition a little smoother as we are going through it together.  He actually got in the game last night and played very well. 

To answer another question on whether or not I will continue the blog I have every intention of doing so.  I have really enjoyed this experience and opportunity and also the interaction it has provided with some of the fans.  As a journalism major and being away from school it gives me a great opportunity to keep the writing skills somewhat sharp. 

I also wanted to say that I still will be going to Washington, D.C. this weekend for the Hobey Baker Award ceremony.  I have never been to Washington before so I’m excited.  I will write all about my experience at the Frozen Four weekend later on in the week so look for that.  I might catch some of the second semi-final on Thursday and will already be back here in Wilkes Barre by the time the Championship game starts but I will write about everything else.

a penguin

Posted in Uncategorized on April 3, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

I just wanted to quickly post here my thanks to all the response that I have gotten about my decision to sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  It was definitely not an easy one and Northeastern was a very special place for me the past 3 years.  I am very excited to be moving forward in my hockey career.  I will post again in the next few days some more thoughts but I just wanted to get that out there right now.

thanks

Posted in Uncategorized on April 2, 2009 by inthecreasewiththiess

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the fans of NU hockey that have left comments in the past couple of days expressing how much they enjoyed the season and the fact that NU hockey is back on the college hockey landscape.  That means a lot to know that while the season did not end the way we wanted or you wanted, the fans are still behind us.  So thank you Husky fans.