11 , 2004
is renowned for its unique academic “block plan” whereby
students take eight classes per year, but just one class at a
time. Some in the world of academia praise the CC model as a great
way for students to dive into one subject head first for three
weeks, and have more classroom success as a result.
At a school
where students are used to concentrating on just one topic or
activity at a time, it’s not surprising that distractions
can cause trouble. Nowhere was that theory proven more clearly
last season than on the hockey rink, where a promising season
for a talented CC Tigers team was derailed by countless injuries,
near-tragedies and administrative deliberations that were beyond
the team’s control.
was the car accident last November that nearly claimed the life
of Tigers assistant coach Norm Bazin, and left him hospitalized
by contrast, Tiger hockey has seemingly gotten back to its own
version of the block plan, where the lone subject is hockey, and
the Tigers seem ready to concentrate on just that one task until,
they hope, the second weekend of April. Heading into this weekend’s
home-and-home series with arch-rival Denver, the Tigers are 5-1-0
and in the top five in both national polls.
Scott Owens, whose team makes just two trips outside the state
of Colorado before New Years’ Day admitted the strong start
has been helped by the home-heavy schedule, and success in their
lone trip thus far.
was important for us to get some early confidence,” Owens
told INCH. “But you can get a false sense of confidence
by playing at home so much, which is why the North Dakota trip
was so key for us.”
in their first foray beyond the shadow of the Rockies, the Tigers
split a series in Grand Forks, winning on Friday via Brett Sterling’s
overtime goal. The fact that Marty Sertich assisted on the game-winner
should surprise nobody who knows wherein the Tigers’ offensive
strengths lie. Sterling and Sertich were expected to be the team’s
leaders and indeed have combined for 24 points in the Tigers’
first six games.
been getting solid defense and outstanding goaltending from the
sizable tandem of Matt Zaba and Curtis McElhinney, and says that
the offensive blessings his two best forwards have delivered might
be his only area of concern thus far.
kind of been the Sterling and Sertich show thus far, so I think
we’ve still got to get a little more offensive diversity,”
Owens said. “But Norm Bazin is even back as a volunteer
coach, so we’re fully staffed and able to just concentrate
on hockey. It’s been great.”
like the hockey version of the Colorado College block plan has
AND HEARD IN THE WCHA
Likes the Taj Ma Ralph – Last year the college
edition of Sports Illustrated called Madison the best
college town in the nation. This year the writers decided to plot
out the perfect college sports week and gave a shout-out to two
to SI, the perfect sports week in America is supposed to include
a stop at the Kollege Klub in Madison on Thursday, and a trip
to Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks on a Friday.
fans will likely not be surprised at the mention of the KK (located
between Lake Mendota and State Street on the corner of Lake and
Langdon), which has been serving hockey fans deep fried cheese
and vodka lemonade for a generation or more. The magazine even
mentions former Badger defenseman Chris Chelios among the red-clad
celebs that can still be seen hanging out at the KK from time
Sioux fans will likely find something to like and something to
gripe about in the SI mention of the Ralph, which was also featured
in a recent New York Times. While praising the $100 million
rink as home to the best college hockey experience in the nation,
the writer describes Grand Forks as “Middle of Nowhere,
Great Weekend Getaway
College vs. Denver
Last season was a good one, hardware-wise for the
Denver Pioneers. Long before they left Boston with the NCAA
championship trophy, they won three of the four regular season
meetings with their arch-rivals from Colorado College to claim
the Gold Pan, the traveling trophy the schools battle for
each winter. Oh sure, CC fans will gently remind the Pioneer
faithful that it was the Tigers winning both WCHA playoff
meetings between the schools (in Denver) but DU fans will
counter by pointing out that Colorado Springs World Arena
is where the Pioneers beat Miami (Ohio) and North Dakota in
the NCAA playoffs. It sounds like the best way to settle things
would be with a pair of hockey games. Thankfully, that’s
just what they’ve got planned for this weekend.
For one of the more interesting pub crowds you’re
ever going to see, stop by SouthSide Johnny’s (at
528 South Tejon Street) in Colorado Springs after Friday’s
game. Outside you’ll see a line of Harley’s
and inside you’ll find live music and great food being
enjoyed by a non-threatening throng that mixes the biker
bar, dance bar and fern bar set without incident. The classic
rock band GuyzUnGlasses is playing all weekend, and the
club’s all-inclusive web
site features menus for food, kids, beer, wine, martinis,
and cigars. What more could anyone want?
the first weekend of November, no team was more desperate
for some good news than Minnesota State, Mankato, and Mavs
goalies Jon Volp and Chris Clark delivered. Each
goalie backstopped a 4-0 shutout of Bemidji State (Volp
on Friday and Clark on Saturday) giving the Mavs their first
two wins of the season and their first back-to-back shutouts
since the 1995-96 season. While they’re still looking
for their first WCHA win, the goalies have given the Mavs
a nice boost of confidence.
North may have been wise to run one of those “DO NOT
ADJUST YOUR SET” warnings across the screen last Friday
when viewers first caught sight of the broadcast team of
Frank Mazzocco, Doug Woog and Tom Sagissor prior to the
Minnesota-Wisconsin game. While Mazzocco and Woog were nattily
(and quietly) attired, Sagissor, the proud Wisconsin alum,
went on-air wearing a eye-poppingly bright red sport
coat that had viewers grabbing for sunglasses.
The fun-loving Sagissor joked that he’s gotten the
blazer from an usher at the Dane County Coliseum. From the
guy who did a pregame show shirtless with a red W painted
on his chest last year, the red blazer was actually a step
TO PICK UP AFTER PRACTICE
The results of the recent U.S. Senate race in Colorado have the
Colorado College alumni association beaming.
On November 2, Democrat Ken Salazar (CC ’77) defeated Republican
brewery baron Pete Coors and will become the first CC graduate
to serve in the U.S. Senate. Salazar, who is also a Colorado College
trustee, served two terms as the state’s attorney general.
He majored in political science at CC, then got his law degree
at Michigan, prompting one to wonder who Salazar rooted for in
the 1996 NCAA title game. While some credit the Tiger hockey team’s
statewide popularity for Salazar’s close win, others feel
it was a backlash against the Coors brewery, which was responsible
for inventing Zima.
of politics, Kevin Pates of the Duluth News-Tribune emailed
this week to point out the increasing political clout being wielded
by WCHA officials in Minnesota. Voters in International Falls,
Minn., recently elected Shawn Mason as the community's new mayor.
Mason, who had previously served on the city council there, is
the wife of WCHA referee and former UMD Bulldog Bill Mason.
sports parallels this weekend involving teams from Minnesota that
wear purple. On Friday and Saturday, Minnesota State,
Mankato (which wears purple and gold) faces official
arch-rival Alaska Anchorage (which wears green
and gold) and the all-time series between the teams stands even
at 16-16-3. On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings (who wear purple
and gold) face their arch-rivals, the Green Bay Packers (who wear
green and gold) and the all-time series between the teams stands
even at 42-42-1. Something, one would think, has got to give.
of team colors, Minnesota Duluth fans won’t
be decorating in green and gold anytime soon. The Bulldogs were
undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation two weeks ago, before going
0-3-1 in back-to-back weekends versus teams that wear green and
gold (Vermont and Alaska Anchorage). UMD may
catch a break in that their schedule only features two more games
versus green and gold teams (a home series with UAA in January)
but if the Bulldogs get to the NCAAs and have to face Northern
Michigan, there could be trouble brewing.
Michigan Tech fans felt like they should be riding
the People Mover over to the RenCen after last week’s game
with Northern Michigan in Houghton, it was thanks to familiar
voice they’d been hearing all night. Ken Kal, the radio
play-by-play man for the Detroit Red Wings, replaced regular MacInnes
Student Ice Arena public address man Mitch Lake behind the microphone
and got to announce a dozen goals in the 6-6 tie. Kal, who called
University of Michigan hockey games for 11 years prior to switching
to the NHL, was in Houghton as part of a tour to promote the Great
Lakes Invitational and other college hockey games being played
at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit this season.
thoughts go out to former Golden Gopher Darby
Hendrickson, who is back in Minnesota after tragedy brought an
abrupt end to his hockey stint in Europe. While playing in Belarus
last week, Hendrickson was alongside former Minnesota Wild teammate
and friend Sergei Zholtok when Zholtok collapsed and died of apparent
heart failure after a game. Zholtok was 31, and had struggled
with fainting spells last season with the Wild before being traded
to Nashville late in the season. Hendrickson (who was traded to
Colorado around the same time) and Zholtok were playing together
for HC Riga 2000 while waiting out the NHL lockout.
Cloud State fans must wonder if the good times can continue
this weekend when the Huskies host Michigan Tech.
St. Cloud State has had a week off to ponder its 10-0 win at Yale,
which marked the team’s largest margin of victory over a
D-I opponent. If the Huskies from central Minnesota are looking
to extend their win streak, they might have picked the right opponent
in the Huskies from the Upper Peninsula. St. Cloud State is 13-1-1
in its last 15 meetings with Michigan Tech.