Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Renovation Update: Pictures of the UND Hockey Locker Room

Jerseys from teams past - Historical 

Goalies' corner of the locker room. 
 Today, was the UND Hockey media luncheon. It was nice to take a look at the new locker room. It's sweet and it should make the difference in landing a top recruit.

Also, the players seem to like the new locker room. UND forward Colten St. Clair had a smile from ear-to-ear when I saw him today.

This is one of those places that you don't normally get to see very often. I took some pictures, feel free to use them if you want. However, please remember, I took with my Samsung Mega and I am not a professional photographer, nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn last night.
Video room

Video room seating. 

The hot tub 

New stick room. 

Meeting room. 

Sioux Pride... 

NCAA trophies. 

USCHO:Keaton Thompson Picked as one of 10 Impact Defensemen for 2014-15

Check it out.
Keaton Thompson, North Dakota sophomore

Thompson got off to a slow start as a freshman, sitting out as a healthy scratch for all but one of North Dakota’s first 10 tilts. Once he got his chance, however, he made the most of it, racking up an impressive plus-14 rating and showing signs of developing into the shutdown defenseman that prompted Anaheim to make him a third-round pick in 2013.

His offensive production was modest (3-8–11) but respectable considering that he didn’t really see the ice until after Christmas.

FCC considering move to ban NFL Redskins team name

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has said that he isn't going to change his team's nickname. In my humble opinion, I believe this is the beginning of a very ugly court battle between the US Government and the Redskins. Also, if the Government goes after the Redskins first, what next? Is the Federal Government going to demand that All colleges with Native American nicknames and logo change their names? I think this is where this is going.
CNBC.COM -- The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether to punish broadcasters for using the moniker of the Washington NFL team, the Redskins, a word many consider a slur to Native Americans, the agency's chairman indicated on Tuesday.

The FCC, which enforces broadcast indecency violations, has received a petition from legal activist John Banzhaf III, asking that regulators strip local radio station WWXX-FM of its broadcasting license when it comes up for renewal for using the name "Redskins."

Banzhaf says the word is racist, derogatory, profane and hateful, making its use "akin to broadcasting obscenity."
In my opinion, I think the Feds are going to lose this case if they try to compel a team to change it's nickname. I think this is a violation of the first amendment. Also, this isn't the NCAA shaking down a small college. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

OTB Ranks UND's Incoming Class Fifth

Jasper Kozak-Miller from the recruiting blog "Over the Boards" has Ranked UND's incoming class 5th. Just for the record, this is how the top-five classes were ranked: 1.) BU 2.) Boston College 3.) UNO 4.) Notre Dame. As we know, ranking in the preseason are meaningless, and hockey is played on the ice. That being said, UND's freshman class should be pretty good this season.
5. North Dakota (NCHC)

Key Recruit: 96 F Nick Schmaltz (Green Bay Gamblers)

Why: Jack Eichel may have “most scrutinized freshman” down pat, but Schmaltz, a super-skilled product of the Chicago Mission program, probably beats out even Noah Hanifin and Wisconsin’s Adam Rockwood as a player who will draw a ton of eyes to see how the adjustment goes. What was at one point shaping up to be a dominant class of 2018 saw some movement, but Schmaltz, for all his draft scrutiny, came out as a first rounder and a potential game-breaking addition to the group in Grand Forks. Tucker Poolman, USA Hockey’s Jr. Player of the Year, is my only honorable mention this year. Winnipeg’s 2013 5th-rounder should be a big addition to the NoDak d-corps.

Forwards: Nick Schmaltz (CHI, 1st rd, 2014), Austin Poganski (STL, 4th rd, 2014), Johnny Simonson, Trevor Olson

Defense: Tucker Poolman (WPG, 5th rd, 2013)

Goaltender: Cam Johnson

North Dakota adds what nearly every team looks to add with this compact, highly talented group: scoring. The sole defenseman Tucker Poolman led all USHL blue-liners in both goals (15) and power play goals (10), an all-USHL First Team selection who comes to campus a year out of the draft more than ready to step in. 5’8 freshman Johnny Simonson led the USHL’s Lincoln Stars in all scoring statistics, including shots on goal (229) while tallying 28 goals and 31 assists last year.

Nick Schmaltz is ridiculously gifted offensively, while Austin Poganski is a 6’2, fourth round NHL draft pick (St. Louis) this summer who ranked fourth in the USHL with 11 powerplay markers, while also leading Tri-City in short-handed goals (3) and shooting percentage (15.3%). Goaltender Cam Johnson adds to the depth chart in net after going 11-1-1 in the USHL with a .939 SV% following a mid-season trade to Waterloo. That followed a tougher first half statistically with a down-and-out Fargo Force outfit last year.

WCHA Introduces WCHA.TV

Today, the WCHA announced its video streaming package. What caught my eye was the price. It’s extremely expensive. Check out these prices below. Recently, the NCHC releases it's prices and the cost is about 90.00 for the season. Obviously, the NCHC has less games. The NCHC also has a decent national television package.
Season Pass ($160) – For less than $1 per game, fans receive live access to a minimum of 181 and a maximum of 185 WCHA games, including: Every WCHA league game, along with each team's non-conference home contests, the league's postseason tournament and the 2015 WCHA Final Five.

Monthly Pass ($50) – Fans can watch every available game live for 30 days from the date of purchase, up until the cutoff date of February 15, 2015.

Day Pass ($12 regular season / $15 playoffs) – Can't make it to the rink that night? Fans can watch the league's entire slate of games for any given day, with streaming beginning 10 minutes prior to face-off. Tournament Pass ($60) – Fans will be able to watch the best of the WCHA battle for the Broadmoor Trophy and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. - See more at:
Just like the NCHC hockey fans, WCHA fans will be able to watch the games where ever they are.
With, fans can follow their team wherever they are. Each game will be available on multiple platforms, including traditional web browsers on PCs, tablets and mobile phones using the iOS and Android platforms. includes responsive web technology, delivering an optimal viewing experience on any device.

Boston Bruins: Defenseman Johnny Boychuk Might end up a Casualty

The Boston Bruins have a salary cap mess, this is well documented. As a result of their current salary cap debacle, it looks like defenseman Johnny Boychuk will end up being a causality and the odd man out. It's a shame, because Boychuk is a solid defenseman.  Obviously, Bruins fans aren't going to be very happy about this. Boychuk is one of the Bruins more popular players.
Fluto Shinzawa, Boston Globe -- The Bruins have three preseason games to determine their roster for the Oct. 8 season opener against Philadelphia. Jobs are up for grabs on the third and fourth lines. But re-signing Krug and Smith gives the Bruins a clearer snapshot of how they’ll break camp, both in terms of dollars and roster strength.

They will still move a defenseman, most likely for futures. But once they account for the bonus overage and Marc Savard’s long-term injury exception, they will not have to move big bucks — namely Johnny Boychuk’s $3,366,667 — to get the league’s green light. This is a good thing. After this season, Boychuk will command an annual salary north of $6 million. This is not money the Bruins are in good position to spend.

But trading Boychuk would not improve the team. He is an experienced and dependable second-pairing defenseman. Because of the pot that awaits, Boychuk will be motivated to play well. The Bruins will benefit from that.
Bruins fans should enjoy Boychuk's last season with the Bruins.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Minnesota State Picked First in WCHA Coaches’ Poll and Media Poll

2014-15 Mankato Free Press WCHA Men’s Hockey Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Rk Team (1st place votes) Points
1. Minnesota State (9) 81
2. Ferris State (1) 67
3. Michigan Tech 64
4. Bowling Green 57
5. Alaska 44
6. Northern Michigan 40
7. Alaska Anchorage 38
8. Bemidji State 33
9. Lake Superior State 17
10. Alabama Huntsville 9

2014-15 Bemidji Pioneer WCHA Men’s Hockey Preseason Media Poll

Rk Team (1st place votes) Points
1. Minnesota State (23) 256
2. Ferris State (4) 226
3. Bowling Green 180
4. Michigan Tech 178
5. Alaska 163
6. Alaska Anchorage 128
7. Northern Michigan 112
8. Bemidji State 101
9. Lake Superior State 60
10. Alabama Huntsville 26

s/t to Puckato.

UND Second in USCHO and USA Today Polls

1 Minnesota (36) 978
2 North Dakota (2) 874
3 Providence (2) 839
4 Boston College 831
5 Union (N.Y.) (9) 737
6 Colgate (1) 652
7 St. Cloud State 596
8 Michigan 569
9 Ferris State 532
10 Wisconsin 497
11 Miami (Ohio) 491
12 Notre Dame 433
13 Minnesota State-Mankato 411
14 Cornell 284
15 Quinnipiac 282
16 Northeastern 270
17 Massachusetts-Lowell 247
18 Denver 225
19 New Hampshire 97
20 Boston University 88

Others Receiving Votes: Minnesota-Duluth 87, Ohio State 76, Yale 57, Mercyhurst 54, Vermont 51, Robert Morris 27, Michigan Tech 26, Western Michigan 14, Dartmouth 13, Bowling Green 11, Michigan State 8, Nebraska-Omaha 8, Rensselaer 5, Alaska-Fairbanks 4, Harvard 4, Air Force 3, Brown 3, Clarkson 2, Maine 2, Massachusetts 2, Niagara 1, St. Lawrence 1.

Well there it is, UND comes in second in this week's USCHO.COM poll.

USA Today Poll

1 Minnesota (32) 505 2
2 North Dakota (1) 449 5
3 Providence 431 9
4 Boston College 375 3
5 Colgate 315 13
6 St. Cloud State 272 8
7 Michigan 252 NR
8 Union (N.Y.) (1) 237 1
9 Miami (Ohio) 236 NR
T10 Ferris State 175 6
T10 Notre Dame 175 11
12 Wisconsin 159 7
13 Minnesota State-Mankato 136 12
14 Cornell 99 NR
15 Denver 54 15

Others Receiving Votes: Northeastern 51; Massachusetts-Lowell, 42; Boston University, 34; Minnesota-Duluth, 16; Yale, 14; New Hampshire, 12; Quinnipiac, 10; Michigan Tech, 9; Mercyhurst, 6; Michigan State, 6; Ohio State, 4; Robert Morris, 4.

Copper and Blue Fillets Dillon Simpson

If you haven't seen this hatchet job, check it out. Apparently, Benjamin Massey of Copper and Blue doesn't think very highly of former UND defenseman Dillon Simpson. Meh! I guess they're entitled to their opinion. Free country, Canada and the USA.

Also, the staff at Copper and Blue seems to think that Simpson is an average player and nothing to get excited about. Whatever... In my opinion, Simpson was a very good hybrid defenseman that played well in his four season with UND. Simpson is a smart player that sees the ice well and looks to make the smart play, so maybe that can be interpreted as boring or average. Simpson also led the NCAA in blocked shots last season. Simpson was also one of the more consistent players in the NCHC last season.
Dillon Simpson is what I like to call "a chunk of hockey player." He isn't very big. He isn't very fast. He isn't very truculent. He doesn't generate much offense. He plays at a respectable level. He's gotten some results, but not many. After four years at the University of North Dakota, Simpson looks like a refined version of the player that went in. He even majored in "managerial finance and corporate accounting", just so we know that there's nothing to get excited about.

Our favourite average college defenseman/managerial financier and corporate accountant is starting his professional hockey career this season, having agreed to a three-year deal back in April. Good for him. He seems likely to play in Oklahoma City, a town just as interesting as everything else in this article. With hard work and good luck he'll have a career as a sort of Sven Butenschön, bouncing up and down between the A and the N, more in the former than the latter, before opening a used car dealership in Sherwood Park, retiring at 45 years old, and spending the rest of his days as a beloved local character deeply involved with charity and his community.
In my three season of covering the UND hockey team, Simpson is one of the nicest guys that you will ever meet. I also think he was one of the more consistent players to play defense at UND in the last 5-10 years. Just for the record Bruce McCurdy of the Edmonton Journal has a much better description of Simpson's play.
North Dakota will lose Dillon Simpson to graduation, and there is no doubt that his absence will leave a definite void. The senior captain appeared in 156 games in the North Dakota sweater, potting 16 goals and notching 59 assists. He led the nation in blocked shots this season (109 in 42 games) and was recently named to the All-College Hockey News first team. There is no way that UND can replace that type of leadership with just one player.

Wendy Ward on Kevin Ward Jr’s death, Why was the Toxicology Report Even An issue?

Last week, it was announced that NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Tony Stewart will not be charged criminally in the death of fellow sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr.

Second, I want to be clear, this was a tragic accident, and an ugly event. Nothing can bring Ward back. Moreover, no one is doubting that Kevin Ward Jr. was a great person. I bet he was. It also sounds like he had a promising sprint car racing career ahead of him. Unfortunately, we will never know.

Also, I can’t imagine how Tony Stewart must feel. This is a heavy burden to carry and it will probably affect him for the rest of his life. I also think a lot of people unfairly vilified Stewart before all of the facts came out, many of these people have never, ever watched a sprint race. I like many others would like to hear what Stewart has to say on the matter.

According to Ontario County district attorney, R. Michael Tantillo a toxicology report revealed that Ward was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident — “enough to impair judgment.”

Here's my question, why was a sprint car driver racing with marijuana in his blood stream? Makes  me wonder if drivers need to be drug tested before they head out on the race track. Do we want drivers racing at over a 100 miles with drugs in their system? I don't think so.

This weekend, Ward’s aunt released a statement that was published on the USA Today’s website. You can read the whole statement right here.
Why was the toxicology report even an issue? Seems to me the wrong man was on trial. Tell me why Tony Stewart was not taken in for testing, why his car wasn't impounded. Tell me how a man the size of Kevin can make a sprint car turn to the right on impact. Tell me how a lap before (the incident) everything was fine, but the following lap was poor lighting. Tell me how a NASCAR star totally forgot what caution means.

Maybe he should get a different headset so he is able to hear on the radio that the car in caution is up high, so go low. Or was he low until he rounded the corner and saw Kevin Jr. standing up for himself?
This statement also caught my eye.
To me, that's not the case. It's known to mellow a person. We understand that the report showed marijuana, but we as a family don't believe he was under the influence or impaired at the time due to the 10 hours prior to the race that he spent with the family.

What we do believe is that maybe people react to certain situations because of anger. I've seen it in NASCAR, sports functions and even on our own roads. And yes, these people have to pay for their actions. Well, I guess it depends on who you are.

And to end this, I've heard time and time again, "We just want Kevin's story out there." Here you go. Kevin Ward Jr. was an amazing person. His life was wrapped around family, friends and racing, which he started at age 4. Just a small-town boy having fun until the days turned into years, and it then became his passion and life. The trophies, plaques and pictures that fill his home, garage and workshop show his hard work and dedication to racing – his love for the sport.

Zach Parise not a fan of the Dump and Chase

s/t to Chris Peters. Former UND All-American Zach Parise isn’t a fan of the dump and chase. I know a few UND hockey fans that will agree with Zach’s opinion. This has been a topic of much debate on Sioux Sports.

Me personally, I know why you see the dump and chase in college hockey. I have seen UND run it from time-to-time. College hockey teams tend to lineup at the blue line and it’s tougher to just skate across the blue line. If they refs aren't calling the obstruction closely, and they're letting the players "play the game", sometimes teams will have no choice but to dump and chase the puck in to the offensive zone.   It is what it is. The NHL is a much different game than college hockey, and I don't see the dump and chase going away anytime soon.
Michael Russo, Star Tribune -- “I read a study this summer that showed shots generated off carrying the puck in as opposed to dumping it in, and it's like 4-to-1. It's not even close,” said Parise, who is set to make his preseason debut with linemates Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville against the Penguins on Thursday night. “I just found it so interesting because everyone's like, ‘Forecheck, forecheck, forecheck.'
Personally, I am not a big fan of the advanced stats either. In a nut shell, the stat that matters the most is wins and losses. Also, goals and assists are what drive a hockey player's salary. Ugly wins count just as much in the standings as pretty blow out wins.

Boston Bruins Re-Sign Tory Krug and Reilly Smith

Good news for the Boston Bruins, they have "finally" re-signed former college hockey stars Tory Krug (Michigan State) and Reilly Smith (Miami University). Last season, Krug's play helped revive the Bruins powerless play.
BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today, September 29, that the club has signed defenseman Torey Krug and forward Reilly Smith to one-year contracts through the 2014-15 season, each worth an annual cap figure of $1.4 million.

In his first full season at the NHL level last year, Krug appeared in 79 regular season games, netting 14 goals (second among B's defensemen) to become the fifth rookie blueliner in team history to score 10 or more goals. His 14 goals rank third overall among all-time B's rookie defensemen behind Ray Bourque's 17 in 1979-80 and Greg Hawgood's 16 in 1988-89. Krug's 26 assists in 2013-14 ranked first among Bruins D-men, while his 40 points were tied for first among blueliners with captain Zdeno Chara. The 23-year-old finished 2014 fourth overall in the NHL rookie scoring race, but was first among NHL rookie defensemen. He was named to the 2013-14 All-Rookie Team.

In total, Krug has played in 82 NHL regular season games, where he has racked up 14-28=42 totals with a plus-17 rating.

In his first two NHL postseason games in 2012-13, Krug recorded goals in back-to-back games against the New York Rangers and finished his first playoffs playing in 15 games tallying 4-2=6 totals. In the 2013-14 postseason run, Krug led all Bruins in scoring with 10 points (two goals, eight assists). In total, Krug has accumulated six goals and 10 assists for 16 points with a plus-three rating in 27 NHL playoff games.

Prior to joining Boston, Krug spent 2012-13 with Providence (American Hockey League), where he racked up 13 goals and 32 assists for 45 points. Preceding the P-Bruins, the defenseman competed at the collegiate level for three seasons at Michigan State (2009-12), appearing in 114 games, registering 26 goals and 57 assists. The 5'9", 180-pound D-man hails from Livonia, Michigan and was signed as a free agent by Boston on March 25, 2012.
Looking at the Boston Bruins page, the Bruins are going to have to make a trade or put Marc Savard on the long term injured reserve. It will be interesting to see what the club does. Some have suggested that Johnny Boychuk is going to be on the trading block. Boychuck is on record saying that he would like to remain with the Boston Bruins.

Let's try that again: Bruins got a steal with the Krug contract as he made around $1.75 million w/bonuses last season #BruinsTalk — Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) September 29, 2014

Resolution is not player-friendly, especially for Torey Krug. But they had no other choice. Arbitration will help next summer. — Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) September 29, 2014

UND's National TV Schedule

7:00 CT
7:30 CT
7:30 MT
7:00 CT
7:00 CT
7:30 CT
7:00 ET
7:30 CT
6:30 ET

s/t to USCHO, I have been told that the rest of UND's television schedule is being finalized. Apparently, there's a good chance that a number of UND's games will make a return to FCS.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Does Former Gopher Goon Stu Bickel have a Chance of Making the Wild

If former Minnesota Gopher Goon Stu Bickel is going to make the Minnesota Wild out of training camp, it’s going to be as a fourth line punching bag.  You're probably wondering why I say punching bag? Bickel isn't a very good fighter, and he's definitely not a feared heavy weight. But he would fill a roll that the Wild need.
Chad Graff, Pioneer Press -- Bickel, who has played about one-third of his games in the NHL at forward, is hoping to show the kind of versatility that could earn him a spot on the roster.

Bickel, a 27-year-old former Gopher from Chanhassen, continues to climb up the depth chart in training camp. If he shows he can play forward Thursday night, it'll be another step in making the Wild out of camp.

"The more versatile a player is, the more opportunity is there for him," coach Mike Yeo said.

Bickel got into two fights during the Wild's 2-1 exhibition loss in Winnipeg on Monday, and he would add physicality and grit that the Wild lack without him.

He played 67 games with the New York Rangers in 2011-12 and 2012-13 -- and got into 28 fights.
Bickel has played in 67 NHL games and has scored an paltry (0g-9a—9pts), but has racked up an impressive 157 minutes in penalties. If Bickel makes the Wild out of training camp, it will not be for his offensive skills, which he obviously lacks.

If Wild decide that Bickel is going to be their designated punching bag, then he has a chance to play a few games with the Wild this season. Meh. Currently, the Minnesota Wild have no "real" punching bag/goon. So far in the preseason, the Wild have been in three fights. Bickel has been in two of those fights, Wild forward Jason Zucker was fought Simon Despres and didn’t fare so well. That being said, Zucker isn’t a pugilist and his job is to generate offense and score goals.

Pioneer Press: Wild's Justin Fontaine: Small-town boy starting to make big impact

Speaking of former college hockey players. Former UMD Bulldog Justin Fontaine is in camp with a new contract trying to cement a roster spot with the Minnesota Wild. Fontaine is on a two-way contract so he could end up playing for the Iowa Wild to start the season.
Chad Graff, Pioneer Press -- Justin Fontaine insists this Wild training camp is no different from last year's.

The two-year, one-way contract he signed this summer doesn't change his mind-set from a year ago when he was in the final year of his contract and fighting just to keep his job.

It's impossible to ignore how different things are for him, though.

For the first time in his career, he has job security in the NHL.

Rather than auditioning for a roster spot, Fontaine was tapped to play Thursday night's exhibition game against the Penguins alongside skilled forwards Thomas Vanek and Mikko Koivu, his chance to show he's ready for a bigger role on the team.

"I think there's a different feeling for him," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "There's no question he's coming in with the sense that he belongs here, the comfort level that he doesn't have to worry about whether one mistake might be the difference between him going home or staying."

BBC: Boston Mayor Backs Belfast Bid for Major Ice Hockey Tournament

This would be a first. I wonder what kind of a crowd a college hockey game would draw in Belfast, Ireland? I can't imagine that the Boston Garden would want to just let another venue have the Bean Pot.
BBC.COM - Boston mayor Marty Walsh has given his backing to a bid to bring a major ice hockey tournament to Belfast in 2016.

While visiting the Odyssey Arena, Mayor Walsh offered his support to an Odyssey Trust initiative to bring the NCAA Beanpot tournament to the city.

The Beanpot, which features Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern, is one of the biggest tournaments in the ice hockey season.

Boston mayor backs Belfast for Beanpot college ice hockey tournament.

"In the 62 years since its inception it has become the official battle for Boston's hockey bragging rights and is widely known as the 'social event of the winter season'," said Walsh.

"In light of the recent Sister City twinning between Belfast and Boston, which is underpinned by a longstanding connection between the two cities through ice hockey, I think it would be wonderful to bring the Beanpot to Belfast and am lending my support to the campaign."

Thursday, September 25, 2014

UND First in Preseason Poll

NCHC Preseason Poll 1. North Dakota – 181 points (12 first-place votes)
2. Miami – 167  (9)
3. St. Cloud State – 151 (4)
4. Denver – 117 (0)
5. Minnesota Duluth – 112 (0)
6. Omaha – 73 (0)
7. Western Michigan  - 67 (0)
8. Colorado College – 32 (0)

Last year, Miami was voted number one by the media in the preseason poll. Hmm... I am not sure UND wants to have this honor.

Grand Forks Herald: Task force on Fighting Sioux Replacement Has First Meeting

It would appear that we have more clarity from the nickname task force. The nickname task force had their first meeting on Wednesday. Also, the nickname task force will be coming up with the process to select a new nickname for UND. That makes me happy. This is the kicker, the nickname task force's purpose is not to pick an actual nickname, they’re just defining the process of picking a new nickname. This will make a lot of UND fans less anxious.
Anna Burleson, Grand Forks Herald -- A UND task force met Wednesday to begin coming up with the process of picking a new nickname and logo for the school.

The task force won’t be picking a nickname, but will try to establish a concrete process the school will use to choose a new one after the controversial Fighting Sioux moniker was officially retired Dec. 31, 2012.

I’m not necessarily asking you to find the name, I'm asking you to identify the best pathway to get to that name,” UND President Robert Kelley said to the task force. “If we come up with a name at the end of that process, all the better, that certainly is our eventual goal, but just for right now, we're looking at the process.”

While this first meeting consisted mostly of policy discussion and planning potential meeting dates, the group had clear ideas about what it wants to accomplish.

Task force member and UND alumnus Chuck Horter stressed the importance of transparency while the task force co-chairman, Student Body President Tanner Franklin, said he wanted to make sure all stakeholders had their voices heard.
It will be interesting to see what comes out of the nickname task force. Picking a potential replacement nickname for UND is a n emotional issue. There is going to be a lot of eyes on this task force and they're going to be under some pressure to make sure there's a smooth transition to a new nickname.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Breaking News: Tony Stewart not charged in death of Kevin Ward Jr.

I apologize to the readers that don't follow sprint car racing, once in a while I will stray into other areas not related to college hockey or the NHL.

I am also a big time racing fans and this is a big development in the racing world and I covered this story extensively as it happen back in August. For those that don't know, Stewart is also the car owner of World of Outlaw's sprint car driver Donny Schatz of Fargo, North Dakota.

I think the most damning thing is the fact that Kevin Ward Jr. was under the influence of marijuana at the time of this incident.  Actually, this announcement is kind of a shocker.
Jeff Gluck and Nate Ryan, USA TODAY Sports -- The Ontario County District Attorney's office took the evidence in Stewart's case to a grand jury, which found there was no basis for criminal charges, D.A. Michael Tantillo announced Wednesday.

Tantillo said toxicology reports revealed that Ward was under the influence of marijuana at a high enough level to impair judgment.

Tantillo said there were two charges submitted for consideration by the grand jury against Stewart: manslaughter in the second degree and criminally negligent homicide. He said neither received the necessary 12 votes from the grand jury to charge Stewart. The grand jury heard the evidence and deliberated "over the better part of two days," Tantillo said.

Tantillo said Stewart was presented the opportunity to testify but wouldn't confirm whether he did.

Tantillo said two videos of the incident were examined and revealed there was "no aberrational driving by Tony Stewart."

Stewart still could face a civil suit from Ward's family.
The fact remains, that a driver died in this incident and this will probably change Tony Stewart's life forever.

New Haven Register: ‘EZ-AC’ Hockey a thing of the past

Here's a good article about ECAC Hockey and how they have gone from being a league that many college hockey fans scoffed at, to a league that's now looked at as being "the" power conference in college hockey. The ECAC has won the last two Frozen Four and that's an accomplishment that nothing to sneeze at. Seriously. Especially, with the academic standards that they must uphold.
Chip Malafronte, New Haven Register “I think our league is as good as any, if not the best,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold, whose team finished as national runner-up to Yale in 2013. “We’re showing that we’ve got the high-end teams that can win national championships. Even more than that, the depth of our league; our bottom teams are always really good and you see every year our 11th- or 12th-place teams beating the No. 1 team in the nation. It’s a deep league and that’s a credit to our coaches and our universities and the commitment we have to our programs.”

Indeed, these are exciting times for the ECAC, once so callously referred to as the “EZ-AC” by fans of more prosperous conferences from Maine to Alaska. Yale’s title in 2013 snapped a 23-year championship drought dating back to Harvard’s run in 1989. When Union won it all in April, it marked the first time the league took consecutive crowns since Boston University went back-to-back in 1971 and 1972.

It’s clear the ECAC hasn’t been this strong since a chunk of members split off in 1984 to form Hockey East. Given the restructuring of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and demise of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association last year, the league is as competitive as ever against the rest of the nation.

“Real strong,” Yale coach Keith Allain said. “You’re talking about the last two years because the league won national championships. But four years ago we had a team that could have won, but lost to Minnesota-Duluth, who did win the national championship that year. The league has gotten stronger; the programs within the league are stronger in terms of feeding off each other. A rising tide lifts the other ships.”

UND Hockey: Get Your GameDay App

UND Hockey Fans, don't forget to get your GameDay App. It's free, just click on the appropriate link below. Hockey Season, starts in 11 days. I have a Samsung Mega and this app looks great on my phone.